Author Curtis Davis to visit Centenary March 13
SHREVEPORT, LA — Curtis Davis, a Louisiana criminal justice reform activist, will visit Centenary on Friday, March 13, to discuss his new book, Slave State: Evidence of Apartheid in America. The talk, entitled “Race, Politics, and the Weaponization of Our Legal System,” begins at 11:00 a.m. in the College’s Whited Room and is free and open to the public.
Davis was wrongfully convicted of murder and was sentenced to serve the balance of his life in a modern-day penal colony in Louisiana, commonly known as Angola. Slave State is a collection of his essays and articles illustrating historical and contemporary failures in Louisiana’s criminal justice system. Davis’s work wrestles with the question of how Louisiana came to lead the entire world in the per capita incarceration of its citizens, as well as why over 80% of these prisoners are of African descent.
Students in several Centenary classes meeting this spring have read Slave State as part of their coursework, including students in Dr. Chris Ciocchetti’s Trek 116 course, “Bloody Caddo.”
“My students have been learning about the criminal justice system in Caddo Parish,” explains Ciocchetti. “Curtis Davis will talk with them about his experience and what he learned about our system writing his first book, Slave State. They will have an opportunity to ask him questions about his trial, his time in prison, and what he found when he was released 20 years later. Curtis has become an effective activist for change in our community. He is willing to engage with uncomfortable issues in a direct way. Students can learn from his example.”