Angela Davis, the famed Black Panther and communist activist, will speak at the Semel Theater on Wednesday, Feb. 16 as the headlining event for African American Heritage Month.
The college’s African American Heritage Month is lead by Emerson’s Black Organization with Natural Interests [EBONI] and Multicultural Student Affairs Director Tikesha Morgan.
EBONI president Chris Hyacinthe said that Davis’ name has been mentioned by past EBONI leaders, and after sitting down with Morgan to choose a speaker for this year, they decided to finally go ahead and ask.
Hyacinthe said he sees hosting Davis as one of the biggest events EBONI has held during his time at Emerson.
“I never thought I’d be meeting with Angela Davis, let alone introducing her,” the junior marketing major said. “It’s a pretty big deal; I’ll remember this.”
Hyacinthe said the decision was approved by EBONI’s executive board along with Tikesha Morgan.
“It was a big deal for us to get her,” said Morgan in a Feb. 1 Emerson Today article. “She’s known for being a female Black Panther during the 1970s, and for questioning whether the prison system is working.”
According to Hyacinthe, the cost of having Davis speak at Emerson is $15,000, but he believes it’s worth it, as she played such an instrumental role in African American History.
“She [Davis] came into the Civil Rights Movement as it was dying down and that era was fading out; she came in with a more aggressive approach in looking for equal rights for everyone,” said Hyacinthe. “She had a different tactic in looking for the same goals that Dr. King and many others had during the 60s.”
The Angela Davis reception and book-signing is open to the entire Emerson community, who Hyacinthe strongly encourages to attend.
“It’s a significant event, people should really pay attention to what she has to say; she brings a different perspective, and can make you think about something differently than you had before,” Hyacinthe said. “She brings a totally different outlook to Emerson. She is living history. She is legendary.”