The Work of a Revolutionary: A Psychobiography and Careerography of Angela Y. Davis


  • Jason D. Reynolds (Taewon Choi)
  • Bridget M. Anton
  • Chiroshri Bhattacharjee
  • Megan E. Ingraham


Dr. Angela Y. Davis is a political activist, academician, and writer who has navigated and discussed issues of race, class, gender, and USA social policies across her 75 years of life. Davis’s activism established her as the icon of a larger social movement and further related to her decision-making and legacy. Using psychobiographical methods, data were gathered through publicly available sources to explore Davis’s personal, professional, and representational life, as well as understand Davis’s lived experience through a socio-cultural-historical perspective. Two established theories, Social Cognitive Career Theory and Politicized Collective Identity model, were applied to Davis’s life. Findings suggested that in addition to her unique intersectional identities, a confluence of factors including growing up in a family of activists, incarceration, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) surveillance, Communist Party involvement, marginalization within activist spaces, and practicing radical self-care impacted Davis committing to a life as an activist, academic, and the leader of a social movement.