“A Million Roses for Angela Davis” was the motto of a 1970–72 campaign in East Germany in support of US philosopher, communist and Black Power revolutionary Angela Davis, who at the time was being held on terrorism charges in California. The large-scale movement firmly anchored the “heroine of the other America” within the cultural memory of a now-vanished social utopia, which, after her acquittal, welcomed her as a state guest.
For her part, Davis had hoped for an internationalist movement promoting a socialist, feminist, non-racist democracy. This moment of hope provides the historical starting point for this volume. It features archival materials, historical portraits of Davis by state painters of the GDR, new commissions and other works by contemporary artists focusing on the issues that Davis campaigned for. Texts explore how Davis’ iconic image came to be inscribed within a global history of resistance, and introduce all of the participating artists.