07/21/1980 at 01:00 AM EDT
For all those years it seemed unthinkable that Angela Davis, the most eligible woman of the radical left, had not found her Mr. Right. Then weekend before last Davis took photographer Hilton Braithwaite to be her lawfully wedded husband in an utterly traditional ceremony. Two Congregational ministers jointly performed the rites for the vice-presidential candidate of the U.S. Communist Party at the Birmingham, Ala. home of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. B. Frank Davis (a gas station owner and a retired schoolmarm). The second marriage for Braithwaite—a New Yorker and no kin to the former L.A. congresswoman—was Davis' first, and her plain intent was to do it up properly. A pianist played We've Only Just Begun and then the traditional Lohengrin wedding march as the couple came down the stairs. The groom wore tails and Davis, radiant in a peach-colored gown, carried a bouquet of flowers complete with baby's breath. Then they exchanged simple gold bands and vows they wrote themselves, including a plea for world peace and a commitment to separate identities. The only party line in evidence was the usual one at the reception held a block away at her mother's church. "It was a lovely, pretty, emotional wedding," said one friend. "People had tears in their eyes."
The newlyweds, both 36, drew the line, however, at a Niagara Falls honeymoon. Davis and Braithwaite, who met at a San Francisco photography exhibition, will spend their honeymoon interviewing Southerners identified with creating the blues. Then they will return to the Bay Area and San Francisco State University, where she teaches ethnic studies and he photography. Davis says she will solve the his-or-her name dilemma by using them both. The nuptials offered one other portent of their plans for sharing: The white-and-yellow flower-decorated wedding cake was baked by the groom.