40 Angela Davis Quotes On Racism, Feminism, & Justice

Angela Davis is a prominent American political activist, academic, philosopher, and author. She is famous for her commitment to civil rights, social justice, and academic pursuits. Here are the best Angela Davis quotes that will inspire you to stand up for the right.

Born on January 26, 1944, in Birmingham, Alabama, Davis emerged as a leading figure in the Civil Rights Movement. She is also popular for her work with the Communist Party USA and the Black Panther Party.

Davis gained widespread recognition for her activism and advocacy. Her work focuses on important issues such as women’s rights, prison reform, gender and racial inequality.

Being a major figure in the prison abolition movement, Angela co-founded Critical Resistance, an organization working to eradicate the prison–industrial complex.

She has also authored several books including her groundbreaking work, “Women, Race, & Class” which explores the connection of various forms of oppression.

Although Davis grew up in a notorious neighborhood, she participated in civil rights demonstrations from a young age. Her impressive academic career led her to teaching positions at universities and colleges.

Angela Davis’s work has inspired countless black women to work towards a more just and equitable society. Her lectures and speeches continue to influence people on topics such as racism, feminism, and the criminal justice system.

Here is the best collection of inspirational Angela Davis quotes on freedom, education, and justice. These quotes by Angela Davis will inspire you to challenge societal norms and work towards a more equitable society.

Top 10 Angela Davis Quotes

  1. “Radical simply means ‘grasping things at the root.’” — Angela Davis         

    Angela Davis Quotes
    Angela Davis Quotes
  2. “What this country needs is more unemployed politicians.” — Angela Davis 

    Angela Davis Famous Quotes
    Angela Davis Famous Quotes
  3. “We know the road to freedom has always been stalked by death.” — Angela Davis               

    Quotes By Angela Davis
    Quotes By Angela Davis
  4. “It is in collectivities that we find reservoirs of hope and optimism.” — Angela Davis 

    Quotes From Angela Davis
    Quotes From Angela Davis
  5. “We have to talk about liberating minds as well as liberating society.” — Angela Davis 
  6. “In a racist society it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist.” — Angela Davis
  7. “I’m no longer accepting the things I cannot change…I’m changing the things I cannot accept.” — Angela Davis
  8. “You have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world. And you have to do it all the time.” — Angela Davis
  9. “To understand how any society functions you must understand the relationship between the men and the women.” — Angela Davis
  10. “Poor people, people of color – especially are much more likely to be found in prison than in institutions of higher education.” — Angela Davis

Famous Quotes By Angela Davis

  1. “If they come for me in the morning, they will come for you in the night.” — Angela Davis
  2. “Progressive art can assist people to learn what’s at work in the society in which they live.” — Angela Davis
  3. “If we do not know how to meaningfully talk about racism, our actions will move in misleading directions.” — Angela Davis
  4. “The struggle for an abolitionist democracy is aspiring to create the institutions that will truly allow for a democratic society.” — Angela Davis
  5. “We have accumulated a wealth of historical experience which confirms our belief that the scales of American justice are out of balance.” — Angela Davis
  6. “Invisible, repetitive, exhausting, unproductive, uncreative – these are the adjectives which most perfectly capture the nature of housework.” — Angela Davis
  7. “Revolution is a serious thing, the most serious thing about a revolutionary’s life. When one commits oneself to the struggle, it must be for a lifetime.” — Angela Davis
  8. “Well for one, the 13th amendment to the constitution of the US which abolished slavery – did not abolish slavery for those convicted of a crime.” — Angela Davis
  9. “The process of empowerment cannot be simplistically defined in accordance with our own particular class interests. We must learn to lift as we climb.” — Angela Davis
  10. “I don’t think we have any alternative other than remaining optimistic. Optimism is an absolute necessity, even if it’s only optimism of the will, as Gramsci said, and pessimism of the intellect.” — Angela Davis

Best Quotes From Angela Davis

  1. “Racism cannot be separated from capitalism.” — Angela Davis
  2. “We know the road to freedom has always been stalked by death.” — Angela Davis
  3. “Prisons do not disappear problems, they disappear human beings.” — Angela Davis
  4. “Well of course there’s been a great deal of progress over the last 40 years. We don’t have laws that segregate black people within the society any longer.” — Angela Davis
  5. “Jails and prisons are designed to break human beings, to convert the population into specimens in a zoo – obedient to our keepers, but dangerous to each other.” — Angela Davis
  6. “No march, movement, or agenda that defines manhood in the narrowest terms and seeks to make women lesser partners in this quest for equality can be considered a positive step.” — Angela Davis
  7. “I think that has to do with my awareness that in a sense we all have a certain measure of responsibility to those who have made it possible for us to take advantage of the opportunities.” — Angela Davis
  8. “It is important not only to have the awareness and to feel impelled to become involved, it’s important that there be a forum out there to which one can relate, an organization- a movement.” — Angela Davis
  9. “I think the importance of doing activist work is precisely because it allows you to give back and to consider yourself not as a single individual who may have achieved whatever but to be a part of an ongoing historical movement.” — Angela Davis
  10. “As a black woman, my politics and political affiliation are bound up with and flow from participation in my people’s struggle for liberation, and with the fight of oppressed people all over the world against American imperialism.” — Angela Davis

Inspirational Angela Davis Quotes

  1. “Walls turned sideways are bridges.” — Angela Y. Davis
  2. “I never saw myself as an individual who had any particular leadership powers.” — Angela Davis
  3. “There is so much history of this racist violence that simply to bring one person to justice is not going to disturb the whole racist edifice.” — Angela Davis
  4. “I think we have to really focus on the issues much more than we may have in the past. I think we have to seek to create coalitional strategies that go beyond racial lines. We need to bring black communities, Chicano communities, Puerto Rican communities, Asian American communities together.” — Angela Davis
  5. “I don’t think it’s necessary to feel guilty. Because I know that I’m still doing the work that is going to help more sisters and brothers to challenge the whole criminal justice system, and I’m trying to use whatever knowledge I was able to acquire to continue to do the work in our communities that will move us forward.” — Angela Davis

More Angela Davis Quotes

  1. “I think in black communities today we need to encourage a lot more cross racial organizing.” — Angela Davis
  2. “We often forget about the structural context of sexual violence. There is institutional complicity.” — Angela Davis
  3. “We still have to struggle against the impact of racism, but it doesn’t happen in the same way. I think it is much more complicated today than it ever was.” — Angela Davis
  4. “The challenge of the 21st century is not to demand equal opportunity in the machinery of oppression, but rather to identify and dismatle those structures in which racism continues to be embedded.” — Angela Davis
  5. “I believe profoundly in the possibilities of democracy, but democracy needs to be emancipated from capitalism. As long as we inhabit a capitalist democracy, a future of racial equality, gender equality, economic equality will elude us.” — Angela Davis

More About Angela Davis

Angela Y. Davis dedicated her life to promoting gender equality, racial justice, and women’s rights. She is well known for her work to abolish oppression in the United States of America as well as throughout the world.

Her involvement in the campaign to free the “Soledad Brothers,” who were accused of killing a prison guard, led to her own arrest. Later, she was was acquitted of all charge and her activism continued to be a powerful force.

Angela Davis has received various awards in her life, including the Soviet Union’s Lenin Peace Prize. She was also inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

Davis was listed as the 1971 “Woman of the Year” in Time magazine’s “100 Women of the Year” edition in 2022. She was also included on Time’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2020.

Hopefully, the above Angela Davis quotes will help you find resilience in the face of adversity.


What are your favorite Angela Davis quotes and Angela Davis sayings listed above? If there are any other inspirational quotes that we’ve missed then let us know in the comments section below.

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