A documentary on the remarkable life and career of Grace Lee Boggs, who celebrates her 99th birthday on Friday, is way past due. She remains a buoyant believer in grassroots democracy and in the last century has been a part of almost every major movement in the United States, from labor, civil rights and Black Power to women’s rights and environmental justice. Activists one-third her age had to run to keep up with her.
POV’s broadcast of American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs airs Monday, June 30, on most PBS stations.
Over her long life, she has tried one radical idea after another, embracing some, discarding others, fashioning new ones of her own in her passion for a more humane and egalitarian America. Throughout, she has remained loyal to Detroit, living there while working to rebuild and re-inspire the city that has been the focus of so much of her commitment to community and democracy. She would not be moved.
Happy Birthday, Grace Lee Boggs!
Here’s a clip from my 2007 Bill Moyers Journal interview with Grace Lee Boggs in which she talks about the 1967 Detroit “rebellion,” Martin Luther King Jr. and the power of moral arguments.