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Today, I thought that I would write about this historical moment on the blog.
About a year earlier, Davis had seen Jackson when she attended his pre-trial hearing.
She had been organizing to free the Soledad Brothers.
After their July 1971 meeting, Angela Davis began to write a series of letters to Jackson.
Paul Avery (1975) explains: “She typed out her innermost thoughts single space onto, in all, 18 pages of legal size paper.
Page by page, over a period of a month, the diary-like document was smuggled out of the Marin jail and into nearby San Quentin Prison’s Adjustment Center where Jackson, Clutchette and Drumgo were being held awaiting their own trial (p.16).” After Jackson was killed in August 1971, Angela Davis’s letters to him were discovered in his cell.
A few years ago, I came across a copy of the “City Magazine” which was owned by famed director Francis Ford Coppola in the 1970s.
He apparently lost hundreds of thousands of dollars on this venture.
Anyway, the issue that I found in a thrift store was from October 1975 and the cover had the following headline: “.” The magazine came into possession of these letters and printed them in their entirety.
I bought the publication for and put it in storage.
During her trial, the prosecution (which had a very weak case) seized upon the discovered letters to suggest that Davis’s motive for helping Jonathan Jackson (George’s younger brother) with his lethal hostage taking incident was her love for George Jackson.
Again Avery (1975) provides some background: “When the prosecution announced its intent to introduce the “love letters” as evidence to be read to the jury, the defense cried foul. Davis’ intimate feelings were protected by the right of privacy and immaterial to the case at hand.
The State responded that her own words proved the People’s case (p.16).” A few days after hearing excerpts from her writings to Jackson, a jury acquitted Davis on all counts.