Apologize Publicly and Give Angela Davis Her Award!

Apologize Publicly and Give Angela Davis Her Award!

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Harlem Liberation School started this petition to Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

*The following excerpt is taken from an article entitled, " Why Angela Davis Doesn’t Fit Into Birmingham’s Civil Rights Narrative."

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On January 5, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI), a 26-year-old museum  and research center, announced that it was rescinding its “Fred L. Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award” after announcing scholar-activist Angela Davis as the winner in October. The award was to be handed out on February 16 at its annual gala, which has also been cancelled.

Davis does “not meet all of the criteria on which the award is based,” reads a statement from BCRI’s board. “While we recognize Ms. Davis’ stature as a scholar and prominent figure in civil rights history, we believe the decision is consistent with the ideals of the award’s namesake, Rev. Shuttlesworth.”

It has been reported that some Jewish leaders and residents of the city protested Davis because of her support of the Boycott, Divest, and Sanctions movement, which seeks to hold Israel accountable for injustices it has imposed upon Palestine.

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Our response to this poor decision of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute is straightforward and uncompromising:

  • Angela Davis is a 75-year old activist, intellectual and author whose contributions to civil and human rights are legendary, widely documented, far-reaching and indisputable.
  • For approximately 5 decades, she has suffered personal, political and professional persecution for her courageous and principled stands against government repression, mass incarceration, imperialism, torture  gender discrimination and racism.
  • As a native of Birmingham, Alabama, her lifelong struggle for freedom and justice - despite such persecution - make her a deserving recipient of the award she was denied, inasmuch as she embodies the courage, vision and selflessness of the award's namesake, Fred Shuttlesworth. Rescinding her award on the grounds of her outcry against government repression in any form, against any people, goes against the spirit and purpose of the award itself.
  • THEREFORE WE THE UNDERSIGNED, DEMAND THAT THE BIRMINGHAM CIVIL RIGHTS INSTITUTE ISSUE A PUBLIC APOLOGY TO ANGELA DAVIS FOR NAMING HER AN AWARD HONOREE, THEN RESCINDING THE AWARD.SECONDLY, WE DEMAND THAT THE BCRI DEMONSTRATE INTEGRITY BY GIVING HER THE AWARD SHE SO RICHLY DESERVES!

 

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