Angela Davis Won an Award. It Was Revoked. Now It’s Been Reinstated

Niraj Chokshi

The New York Times  /  January 25, 2019

A civil rights group in Birmingham, Ala., said on Friday that it had reinstated Angela Davis, the activist and scholar, as the recipient of its annual human rights award, reversing a controversial decision to revoke the honor weeks ago.

The group, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, first announced last fall that Professor Davis would receive the award, but its board walked the decision back on Jan. 4 amid criticism over her support for a boycott of Israel. That move prompted a backlash, with many describing it as an insult.

In a since-deleted statement, the group had said that Professor Davis, who retired from the University of California, Santa Cruz, in 2008, “does not meet all of the criteria on which the award is based.” But, on Friday, Andrea L. Taylor, the institute’s president and chief executive, reaffirmed Professor Davis’s qualifications.

“Dr. Angela Davis, a daughter of Birmingham, is highly regarded throughout the world as a human-rights activist,” she said in the statement, noting Professor Davis’s activism around feminism and mass incarceration. “Her credentials in championing human rights are noteworthy.”

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