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Activists protest Civil Rights Institute decision to withdraw award for Angela Davis

Activists who have recently been protesting a Thanksgiving police shooting that killed a black man at Alabama’s largest mall stood in front of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute this morning protesting the decision to rescind an award to controversial activist Angela Davis.

The board of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute on Jan. 4 rescinded its decision to bestow its highest award, the Fred Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award, on Davis and canceled the Feb. 16 gala at which she would have received it.

Davis, an author and retired professor known for a life of activism that included memberships in the Black Panther Party and the Communist Party USA, was born in Birmingham in 1944 and raised in a neighborhood in Smithfield that was bombed so often it was nicknamed “Dynamite Hill.”

Her activism on behalf of Palestinians, including calling for divestment and boycotts against Israel, was cited by members of Birmingham’s Jewish community as a reason to reconsider the award and the invitation to speak in the city where she grew up.

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