Iconic Civil Rights Activists, Grace Lee Boggs Dead at 100 | Kulture Kritic
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Iconic Civil Rights Activists, Grace Lee Boggs Dead at 100

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Iconic Civil Rights Activists, Grace Lee Boggs Dead at 100

By:  Robert C. Bess Sr.

Grace Lee Boggs, a pioneer born to Chinese immigrants in 1915, recently passed away on October 5, 2015 at the age of 100.  She spent over 70 years fighting for social change.  

Lee fought for Civil Rights, Labor Rights, Feminism, and the Black Power Movement.  According to her family, after living a purposeful, productive and fulfilling life fighting for the rights of all people, Lee died peacefully in her home in Detroit.  

A statement from Boggs’ trustees, said “Grace died as she lived, surrounded by books, politics, people and ideas.”

She began immediately out of Grad school working alongside A. Philip Randolph fighting for equal rights for minorities.  It is interesting to note that NPR reports that “Grace Lee had been so dedicated to fighting for African Americans, that her FBI file described her as “probably AfroChinese”.  

In a documentary aired on Democracy Now entitled “American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs,” Grace Lee said “One of the difficulties when you are coming out of oppression is that you get a concept of the Messiah.  You have to get to that point that we are the leader we’ve been looking for.  We are the children of Martin and Malcolm.  I don’t know what the next American Revolution is going to be like, but we might be able to imagine it, if your imagination were rich enough.”  Through this statement one can glimpse into the mindset of Grace Lee and who she was as a person, leader and advocate for the oppressed or the socially unaccepted.  

Grace Lee met her husband, who was also an activist, in 1953.  The two composed books together.  They organized several civic organizations, one being The Detroit Civic Organization Save Our Sons and Daughters.  James Boggs died in 1993, but Lee continued her work well into her nineties.  She believed in the theory of each individual rather than government overthrow, and believed in local change through community.  

Grace Lee Boggs lived out her beliefs and became the leader that she was looking for in her life. What would society be if we all believed this way?

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