Socialist book club kicks off with anti-prison book

The Young Democratic Socialists at the University of Virginia read 'Are Prisons Obsolete?' for its first book club read.

The book club is for 'socialists students of color.'

The Young Democratic Socialists at the University of Virginia (YDSA at UVA) operates a “Socialists of Color Book Club” on campus. The first read is “Are Prisons Obsolete?” by Angela Y. Davis.


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The book is “a short, impassioned, argument for abolition” of the prison system, its description reads.

Davis eloquently points out that mass incarceration has had little or no effect on crime, how disproportionate numbers of the poor and minorities end up in prison, and the obscene profits the system generates. Who needs it!,” it continues.

The book was published in 2003.

Davis is a former professor at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). She was reportedly removed from her position at the request of then-governor Ronald Reagan due to her affiliation with the Communist Party of the United States.

She later became the party’s vice-presidential candidate in 1980 and 1984.

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She is currently listed as a Distinguished Professor Emerita at University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC).

YDSA at UVA’s mission is to “win socialism.” 

“We’re a chapter of the youth section of the Democratic Socialists of America, a 100,000 person organization that fight to build a world without racism, patriarchy, imperialism, or capitalism,” the website reads.

It claims to be the “largest YDSA chapter in the country.”

The book club meets every Tuesday of the semester from 7:30-8:30 PM. Free copies of the book are available to members.

Campus Reform has contacted all other parties mentioned and this article will be updated accordingly.