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Equality not only about race, Angela Davis tells St. Louis audience

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 27, 2012 - Choruses of "Amen" and multiple rounds of applause filled downtown’s Christ Church Cathedral Sunday afternoon. But the audience wasn’t responding to a clergy member; they were cheering long-time activist, author and scholar Angela Davis.

Every seat was filled and 100 people waited outside as Davis, the keynote speaker for the St. Louis Public Library’s commemoration of Black History Month, touted a big-tent concept of activism.

Racism, sexism, homophobia and every kind of discrimination are bound up together, Davis said. She told the crowd that the Loving v. Virginia case, which led the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn bans on interracial marriage in 1967 intersects in an intriguing way with another case: Lawrence v. Texas. In 2003, the Lawrence case resulted in the high court decriminalizing sex between two men or two women.

John Lawrence, a white man, was the plaintiff in whose name the case was filed. Less familiar is the name of Tyron Garner, the other man police found when they burst in on the pair in a Houston-area hotel room.

Nancy is a veteran journalist whose career spans television, radio, print and online media. Her passions include the arts and social justice, and she particularly delights in the stories of people living and working in that intersection.