ANGELA DAVIS: In 1969, Davisâ€™ political affiliation as a member of the Communist Party USA resulted in her being fired from her post as an acting assistant professor at the University of California. After taking the issue to court, she eventually earned her position back. However, the victory was short-lived when soon thereafter she faced several criminal chargesâ€”including murderâ€”which stemmed from a courtroom escape attempt by three prison inmates that she politically supported. Davis spent 18 months in prison awaiting trial and was eventually acquitted of all charges in 1972. Her experience with the criminal justice system would prove inspirational as she would go on to push for reform of the United States prison system. She also ran for Vice President of the United States in 1980 and 1984 as a Communist Party USA candidate. After openly identifying as a lesbian on the cover of a 1999 Out magazine issue, Davis remains a highly respected educator, activist and author.