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Angela Yvonne Davis was born in Birmingham, Alabama on January 26, 1944. She’s a political activist, academic scholar, and author. She emerged as a prominent counterculture activist and radical in the 1960s as a leader of the Communist Party USA, and had close relations with the Black Panther Party through her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement. On August 7, 1970, an African-American high school student gained control over a courtroom in California which lead to Davis unjustly involved in the event. On August 14, 1970, a massive attempt to locate and arrest Angela Davis began. On August 18, 1970, four days after the initial warrant was issued, the FBI director J. Edgar Hoover listed Davis as the third woman and the 309th person to appear on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitive List. On January 5, 1971, Davis appeared at Court and declared her innocence before the court and nation. She was held in solitary confinement. Across the nation, thousands of people began organizing a movement to gain her release. In New York City, black writers formed a committee called the Black People in Defense of Angela Davis. By February 1971 more than 200 local committees in the United States, and 67 in foreign countries, worked to free Davis from prison. John Lennon and Yoko Ono contributed to this campaign with the song: “Angela”; she also received support from Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Todd Cochran, Phil Ranelin, Italian singer-songwriter-musician Virgilio Savona with his group Quartetto Cetra, and more. In 1972, after a sixteen-month incarceration, the state of California allowed her release on bail from the county jail. On February 23, 1972, Rodger McAfee, a dairy farmer from Fresno, California, paid her $100,000 bail with the help of Steve Sparacino, a wealthy business owner. A defense motion for a change of venue was granted and the trial was on June 4, 1972, after three days of deliberations, the all-white jury returned a verdict of not guilty. “Free Angela!” became a protest slogan of the early 1970s.
Assata Olugbala Shakur was born JoAnne Deborah Byron in Jamaica, Queens, New York on July 16, 1947. She is an African-American activist, member of the former Black Panther Party (BPP) and Black Liberation Army (BLA) who was convicted of murder in 1977. Between 1971 and 1973, Shakur was charged with several crimes and was the subject of a multi-state manhunt. In May 1973, Shakur was involved in a shootout on the New Jersey Turnpike, in which she was accused of killing a New Jersey State Trooper. Shakur was incarcerated in several prisons in the 1970s. She escaped from prison in 1979 and fled to Cuba in 1984 after living as a fugitive for a few years, and received political asylum. She has been living in Cuba ever since. “Free Assata!“