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Who’s ‘anonymous partner’ behind Angela Davis quote at Barclays subway entrance?

Norman Oder, Bklyner

Sometime between June 7, when Barclays Center replaced advertising inside the oculus with a Martin Luther King quote, and June 19, Juneteenth, another ad went down above the arena subway entrance opposite the oculus. This time, the message displayed on a large banner was a quote from Angela Davis, the California-based and often controversial political activist and writer.

As Norman Oder reports in The Bklyner, the quote reads, in black-and-white lettering, “I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I can no longer accept,”

Trying to determine how the quote got there, Oder approached BSE Global, the Joe Tsai-led company that owns the arena as well as the Nets. Oder noted, “The banner has no corporate or institutional credit, just the hashtag #BLACKLIVESMATTER.

“A partner of ours wanted to show support but wishes to remain anonymous,” arena spokeswoman Mandy Gutmann explained to Oder, Gutmann, Oder wrote, didn’t answer when the banner went up ... or when it will be taken down.

So who’s the “partner?” Oder, better known for his blog on the overall Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park project, speculates “it’s someone connected to the Brooklyn Nets, the NBA, or the entertainment world familiar with Black radicalism.” Note as well the lettering and color scheme of the banner. It’s black-and-white and does look a bit like the Nets marketing motif from the time of the “Hello Brooklyn!” campaign.

As we’ve reported, Kyrie Irving quoted Davis, along with others like Tupac Shakur, on his Instagram account at the height of the players’ union debate on the “bubble” in Orlando.

Davis, of course, has been a leading radical on racial and economic issues since the 1970’s when she led protests while a professor at UCLA. She has written 10 books on various subjects, had songs by the Rolling Stones and John Lennon dedicated to her. In 1972, she was acquitted (by an all-white jury) of helping in an attempted prison break.

Now, however, many of her positions on prison reform, defunding the police and restructuring the bail system, among others, have been adopted by protesters and debated publicly.