In 1941, Davis began his career in the entertainment field. He has been an actor, director, scriptwriter, and producer. He has appeared on the stage, in films, and on television.
Davis has been affiliated with the Emergency Civil Liberties Committee ("Communist front" - "subversive"); the Citizens Committee for Constitutional Liberties ("Communist front"); New World Review ("Communist publication"); Morning Freiheit ("Communist publication"); Camp Midvale (Communist Party enterprise); the National Committee to Abolish the House Un-American Activities Committee ("to lead and direct the Communist Party's 'Operation Abolition' campaign"); Freedomways magazine (leftwing); the American Peace Crusade ("Communist front"); the National Council of the Arts, Sciences, and Professions ("a Communist front used to appeal to special occupational groups"); the Association of Artists for Freedom (leftwing); the Liberation Committee for Africa (leftwing); the Monroe Defense Committee (on behalf of leftist-racist Robert F. Williams); the Alexander Defense Committee (on behalf of leftist-racist agitators in South Africa); and the Charter Group for a Pledge of Conscience (on behalf of six who conspired to murder a woman shopkeeper in Harlem).
Davis was eulogist at funeral services for Malcolm X, a leading racial agitator. He was chairman of a memorial tribute to W.E.B. DuBois, a Communist. He agitated on behalf of the atom spies, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg and Morton Sobell. He attended a rally in honor of the Communist revolutionary Che Guevara.
In the political arena, Davis endorsed the New York City mayoralty candidacy of William Fitts Ryan, an ultra-leftist. He participated in the Voters' Pledge Campaign for "peace" candidates in 1966. He was a member of the National Conference for New Politics, a third-party movement largely controlled by the Communists. He was the keynote speaker at the founding convention of the Freedom and Peace Party, which ran Communist candidates for the presidency and lesser offices in 1968.
As a leftwing peacenik, Davis was affiliated with the 1965 March on Washington for Peace in Vietnam, the 1965 Ad Hoc Committee of Veterans for Peace in Vietnam, the 1966 Sing-In for Peace Concert at Carnegie Hall, and the 1966 Read-In for Peace in Vietnam at New York's Town Hall.
In the area of racial agitation, Davis has been affiliated with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).
Phrases contained in quotation marks, characterizing various organizations and publications, are quoted from Guide toSubversive Organizations and Publications, prepared and realeased by the Committee on Un-American Activities of theU.S. House of Representatives, December 1, 1961. Most of the reports in that publication are in turn verbatim quotationsfrom reports of Federal government and Congressional authorities, namely, the committee itself (HCUA), the SenateJudiciary Committee and its Internal Security Subcommittee, and the Subversive Activities Control Board; and from lettersto the Loyalty Review Board from United States Attorneys General.