“We are the leaders we’ve been looking for.”  —Grace Lee Boggs • Courtesy Photo
“We are the leaders we’ve been looking for.” —Grace Lee Boggs • Courtesy Photo

Grace Lee Boggs, author, activist, and philosopher passed away Monday morning in her home, at 100. Boggs has been involved in several movements throughout her lifetime. One of the first was fighting for tenants’ rights and joining the Workers Party while living in Chicago. In 1953, she married auto worker and political activist James Boggs and moved to Detroit, where they both focused on activism for the rest of their lifetime. Boggs was involved with the Black Power movement and worked with Malcolm X before his assassination.

In her later life, Boggs and her husband founded Detroit Summer, a multicultural and intergenerational program that sought the redevelopment of Detroit by empowering youths. Their home was headquarters for the Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership, a hub for community-based projects, grassroots organizing, and social activism.

Boggs was the child of Chinese immigrants, born in Providence, RI on June 27, 1915. Boggs grew up in Queens, New York where her family owned a restaurant. She entered Barnard College at 16, and earned a PhD in Philosophy from Bryn Mawr College. Husband, James Boggs, passed away in 1993.

Prior to her death, Boggs was the subject of the documentary film, American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs. Boggs is one of the few early Asian American women revolutionaries who sought social justice through dialectic discussion, collaboration, and community.

Rest in power.

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