Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Everyday is Black History Month at Nelesc Designs: Angela Davis

At Nelesc Designs, everyday is Black History month. However, since February is the designated month to focus our attention on our African American brothers and sisters, I want to highlight one of the cultural icons I feature in my shop, Angela Davis. 

Also available in brown, red and grey.

Angela Davis is best known as a radical African American educator, activist for civil rights and issues surrounding the private prisons. She knew about racial prejudice from her experiences with discrimination growing up in Alabama. As a teenager, Davis organized interracial study groups, which were broken up by the police. She also knew several of the young African American girls killed in the Birmingham church bombing of 1963.

She is currently a professor at the Unversity of California-Santa Cruz, a job she was once fired from for ties to communism. In 1970, she was imprisoned for charges related to her involvement with three prison inmates.She later was acquitted of all charges. Davis is the author of several books, including Women, Race, and Class (1980) and Are Prisons Obsolete? (2003).

These are minimally reconstructed; crew neck is transformed into a scoopneck and sleeves were shortened.

If you've followed my blog since the beginning, you know that I have written about  Angela Davis before. Here, I talk about my decision to include her in my shop despite people feeling that she is too controversial. Here is where I talked about the documenary I saw with my aunt on Sunday, October 17,  MOUNTAINS THAT TAKE WING. It featured "conversations between Angela Davis, an internationally re-knowned scholar-activist, and 88 year old Yuri Kochiyama, a revered grassroots community activist and 2005 Nobel Peace Prize nominee." It was held at the Brooklyn Campus of Long island University.

This particular image, on the t-shirt, was inspired by Stephen Shames' 1969 photograph of Angela Davis. Shames is a New York based photojournalist.

While on assignment in Uganda in 2000, Steve ran into children who desperately wanted to go to school but couldn’t because they lacked school fees. In Uganda, children often got sent home from school because they don’t have a pen or paper. Steve realized a small amount of money could transform a child’s life. Therefore, a percentage of the sales from this Angela Davis t-shirt goes to Shames' foundation, LEAD Uganda, an educational leadership initiative for abandoned children affected by AIDS, war and poverty founded in 2004 by Shames. I wrote about my partnership with LEAD Uganda here

Angela Davis continues to intrigue me as a powerful, outspoken, feminist thinker. As a Puerto Rican woman, I relate to her, she speaks to me and I know she speaks to many women (and men) in this day and age. I honor her today.


  1. That is exactly how I feel about Autism Awareness month - for me it's everyday :)

    Great post & love the tee!

  2. Yes! April is the same here, year round. Thank you for visiting my blog. I continue to enjoy yours.