The Prison Industrial Complex + The Black Panther Party

Program #DAVA006-SEAB001.

First Program: Angela Davis - The Prison Industrial Complex

With more than 2.3 million people behind bars, the United States leads the world in prisoners, leaving far-more-populous China a distant second. More than one in 100 adults in the U.S. is locked up, an all-time high that is costing the states and the federal government tens of billions a year. Some states spend more on prisons than they do on higher education. Additionally, some five million people are on probation or parole. The conservative "Economist" magazine says, "Never in the civilized world have so many been locked up for so little."

Second Program: Bobby Seale - The Black Panther Party

In the sixties and seventies, the Black Panther Party captured the imagination of millions in the U.S. and around the world. The organization also attracted the rapt attention of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. J. Edgar Hoover's FBI launched a sustained counterintelligence program to infiltrate, disrupt and destroy the Panthers. The media and popular history have focused on gun-toting Panther militancy and ignored the group's dedication to community organizing and providing much-needed services. Seale's candid eyewitness account of the Panthers' rise and fall makes for a memorable program.

Speaker(s):

Angela Davis (click to view archive)

Angela Davis is one of the iconic figures of this era. Acquitted on conspiracy charges in 1970, after one of the most famous trials in U.S. history, she went on to become an internationally renowned writer, scholar and lecturer. She’s the author of many books, including Women, Race and Class, Abolition Democracy, and The Meaning of Freedom

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