WASHINGTON – A poster at D.C. Superior Court honoring African American women in politics, including 1960s-era radical Angela Davis, has been abruptly removed.
The poster depicted eight women and cited them for their “greatness in politics,” including First Lady Michelle Obama, Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to Congress and to run for president and former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice.
Davis, a former college teacher spent time on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List in connection with a 1970 California courthouse attack in which a judge was killed.
The poster was taken down Monday from a wall outside the jurors’ lounge at D.C. Superior Court, hours after the Washington Times reported on it.
In a written statement, court spokeswoman Leah Gurowitz said “court employees on the Black History Month committee” created the poster and included Davis “because they believe she made contributions to the political debate.”
The other women depicted on the poster were Carol Mosely Braun, the first African American woman to join the U.S. Senate; Patricia Roberts Harris, the first black woman to serve in the president’s cabinet, in the Carter White House; Barbara Jordan, a member of the House Judiciary Committee during 1974 impeachment hearings against former President Richard Nixon; and Fannie Lou Hamer, a former civil rights leader who led a credentials protest at the Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City in 1964.
Davis was a college philosophy teacher, and an avowed Communist honored by the head of the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War.
In 1970, police charged that Davis was the registered owner of two of the guns used in a Marin County, Calif. courthouse attack which left four dead, including a judge. The attackers snatched hostages in a bid to win freedom for George Jackson, imprisoned in California for robbery and charged with murder for killing a prison guard. He was later killed in prison.
In the D.C. Superior Court statement regarding the Black History Month poster, Gurowitz said, “The D.C. Courts do not endorse the views of any of the women included in the poster.”