Elizabeth Catlett created this serial portrait of Angela Davis in 1972 during a period in which the twenty-eight-year-old political radical and university professor was incarcerated and awaiting trial in connection with a shoot-out outside a California courthouse that left a judge and three others dead. Davis had not been present but was alleged to have purchased the guns used in the incident. Catlett admired Davis's activism. Angry that Davis was being held without bail, she organized the "Free Angela Davis Committee" and created this print to support the cause. Davis was ultimately acquitted after a trial that made international headlines. Since then, she has continued to champion various social causes, including prison reform.