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Fischer, Joan (ed.) / Wisconsin people & ideas
Volume 52, Number 2 (Spring 2006)

Drayton, Michele
The champ,   pp. 13-19

Page 13

All photos courtesy of Richard Davis 
IVERSITY, WROTE RICHARD DAVIS in liner notes to The Bassist: 
Homage to Diversity is a pursuit requiring a 24-hour-a-day 
focus. He should know. 
Dealing with race is not a weekend 
hobby for Davis, a professor at the 
University of Wisconsin-Madison whose 
wide-ranging virtuosity has placed him 
in recording studios and performance 
halls from Russia to South America with 
such greats as Sarah Vaughan, John 
Lennon, Ben Webster, Eric Dolphy, Igor 
Stravinsky, and Leonard Bernstein. 
His work both on campus and in the 
community, in such projects as a 
"Retention Action Project" designed to 
keep students of color at the university, 
and the Institute for the Healing of 
Racism, for which he serves as presi- 
dent of the Madison and Milwaukee 
chapters, keeps him in the trenches of 
the battle against racism. 
He's not the kind of intellectual who 
contents himself with quoting W. E. B. 
DuBois chapter and verse, or making 
the rounds of speaking engagements, or 
collecting such books as Einstein on 
Race and Racism or Uprooting Racism: 
How White People Can Work for Racial 
Justice. He does all that. But he also is 
intent on putting his fight into practice. 
"All of us have been, in a sense, condi- 
tioned to think a certain way about 
ourselves and other people. Some of 

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