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July 17, 1976 - Image 7

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1976-07-17

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Saturday, July 17, 1976


Page Seven

Saturday, July 17, 1976 ~HE MICHIGAN DAILY Page Seven

ghting the old
ene seventies

erview. But Davis makes it quite
or from the start that she is here,
t to pose as a media star, but to
- about politics.
m just another sister involved
the struggle, it just so happened
t I was singled out," says Davis, in
explanation of how she and the
oy others involved with her 1972
art r;eTense came to realize that
rcse was only the "tip of the
nHEY SAY jail will either make
you or break you. But I got
-on41h from the movement on the
side. Jail strengthened my dedi-
ion to the movement."
to a communist, a revolution-
, aserts Davis, "I'm convinced
at the only way we can fundamen-
t+ alter the situation of masses of
cle in this country is through a
olotionarv overturning of the sys-
itself." Still Davis's own commit-
at to revolutionary action seems
have broadened over the years to
lude working with groups who
ye cotns somewhat divergent from
As a .communist, my goal is a
ialist United States of America,"
explains, "but at the same time
cognize that it would be counter-
doctive for me to refuse to work
th anyone who doesn't agree with
and so she has banded tovether fin
Alliance). with dozens of organ-
tions and members raninz from
.ocrat John Convers of Michigan

to the most radical black nationalist
"IT (THE ALLIANCE) does not have
a political ideology," continues
Davis, adding, "although what we are
involved in is intensely political. We
all understand the need to join to-
gether for the purpose of providing
a people's defense, against the re-
pression which often doesn't make
those political distinctions.
"They (the government) see all of
us as a threat. Therefore any one of
us has a chance of being made a vic-
tim . . . If we can't manage to do
somethine about noitical persecu-
tion and racism, there is no way in
the wnrld we can organize a socialist
But the revniition has been, so
far, lone in comina And when she
pan s to take a sin of coffee then
set the- "n hack with a drink she has
stanlin on the deck. I ask her if she
fOeas hr "constitnecv" is apathetic
there daV.
"T don't think neorne are anathe-
tic." she renConda. her voice deepn-
in, and her tune becomin, firmer.
"The nrohlem is we don't have the
oreaniationai forme to channel our
sense of ontrawe. So many of our or-
eanizera hat'e been rinned off that we
simnhl haven't ber doin as much
on our inhs a woe ahonid have been:
in re,ai,inr the 00'apa that was
.r' in de-ainnin na-T tnners. new
n niincieannrl no,,, n-a~r5ar
flAVIS. HERSELF has been a so-
cialist since her adolescence,
when she left home in Birmingham,
Alabama to attend high school in
New York City on a scholarship. A
Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Bran-
deis, Davis studied there under Her-
bert Marcuse, the well-known Marx-
ist philosopher. After more schooling
abroad, Davis returned to the U. S.
during the peak of activism, by the
Black Panther Party and the South-
ern Christian Leadership Confer-
ence, both of which she joined.
Now thirty-two, Davis conveys an
abiding love and solidarity with black
people, other pelople of color and op-
pressed whites. Though she feels that
certain gains were made by blacks
during the civil rights movement in
the sixties, she is quick to add, "they
have been rolled back in large part
due to having a Nixon - appointed
Supreme Court. All the things we
worried about two years ago are
worse now."
Davis calls North Carolina in par-
ticular, "a laboratory for racism and
political repression - it's the worst
spot in the country insofar as peo-
ple of color and working people are
concerned" - Which is one of the
reasons why the Alliance plans to
hold its march there.
"North Carolina has more prisons
than any other state, more prisons
per-capita, the lowest percentage of
unionized labor (7.8 per cent), and
the lowest industrial wage rate, plus
the largest military base in the coun-
try," points out Davis. "Foreign in-
dustries are even moving in to take

advantage of the cheap labor," she
adds. It is an ironic reversal of the
usual situation.
"IT SEEMS TO US that because
there are these giant corpora-
tions so intent on making as many
profits as they can, they have to in-
sure that no movement is organized.
And of course the way to do that is

us with the key to the city," she
says, laughing - "something of a
change from the kind of reception
that we usually get. But "the import-
ant thing of course is the involve-
ment of masses of people." She's back
on the track. "You can have well-
known individuals involved, but if
there's nothing at the base, nothing
will happen." It's all very direct.

y$ he

to nip it in the bud," continues Davis.
"Every time a political- activist
emerges, crush that person, destroy
that movement before it gets off the
ground. We've seen this pattern in
North Carolina for at least the last
five years.
I note that repression is every-
where, in capitalist countries - and
then add, probably in socialist coun-
tries too. She checks me and says,
"I don't know about that," before we
go any further in the conversation.
One hundred per cent politicized,
Davis is quick to set us back on the
track whenever we begin to deviate
from that subject. We are talking
casually about her reception in De-
troit. "He (Mayor Young) presented

But though Davis remains a celeb-
rity; having toured Europe and now
the U. S.; still on the edge of the
limelight created by her 1972 court
case ,she seems reluctant to continue
in a public role for much longer.
More than anything she wants to re-
pay her debts to friends and fellow
comrades. But there are things she'd
like even more than that: to finish
her Phd - "on women through a
Marxist perspective," she adds -
and finally, to go back to teaching.
MiaCael Yr/llais a Daily staff wri/er
saUaasaering1 in Nea York.If' seae back
to Dr1 rot recently for a weekend to inter-
vitew Anti/a Dacis.

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