Angela Davis was only ten years old when Carl and Anne Braden were charged with sedition in 1954. Davis first met Carl as a teenager in Birmingham, Alabama. In 1970 however, Davis was targeted and charged with murder as part of the larger campaign of political repression the Bradens had fallen victim to in the 50s. After she was acquitted in 1972, Davis and her defense committee joined Carl Braden and others to establish the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression (NAARPR) in Chicago and the Kentucky Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression in Louisville in 1975.
Over the years, Davis and the Bradens developed a close friendship through their continued commitment to social justice activism. In 1975 at Carl’s memorial service Davis commemorated him, saying,
“Whenever I heard the name of Carl Braden it has always evoked in my mind that fearlessness, that courage and dedication to purpose that Carl Braden represented. He was totally committed to ending racial and political repression in this country. He was unreservedly devoted to the many brothers and sisters incarcerated in jails and prisons throughout this country and I can’t begin to enumerate the many political prisoners who are indebted to Carl for his work to Free them.”
Davis concludes the only significant way to truly pay tribute to Carl Braden is through unrelenting struggle, which she and social justice activists throughout the nation have continued to do.