Angela Davis Discusses Violence

Angela Davis, an African American civil rights activist and former member of the Black Panther Party discusses her view on violence during a prison interview.

When talking about the revolution the Black Panthers are creating, Davis is asked, “How do you get there? Through confrontation? Through violence?” Disturbed yet astonished by the lack of knowledge of the Black Panther Party,  Davis addresses the issue by stating that when people think of revolution, they usually think of war, therefore, why it seems that violence is always associated with revolution. Davis then continues to emphasis why she opposes violence by describing her every day life experience and how she is confronted with this issue on a daily basis.

After Angela Davis had educated us (the viewer) on how violence is literacy and how it has shaped our understanding of what a revolution is, or what it is “supposed to be”  it became fairly easy to see why the Black Panthers were viewed as a threat to society. The fact that the Black Panthers are trying to create a revolution allows others who may not be African American to understand why society was so threatened by them. However, after researching the Black Panthers Party, I learned that they were people who were trying to make a better communities for African Americans and create social justice so that ultimately they are all treated equally.

The forms of rhetoric that Davis uses during the interview to allow her audience to grasp the concept that she is explaining is that of pathos. Davis uses personal experience as a form of rhetoric, which makes the interview even more powerful. With this, the audience is able to interpret in the same way as to why Davis sees the Black Panthers as a form of empowerment to African Americans.

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