Grace dictated the following statement for attendees of the "With/Out - ¿Borders?" Conference in Kalamazoo, MI (September 25-28, 2014):
I feel I am the spokesperson for a new international movement to redesign our cities on the basis of new work and culture. I knew that my life was important but never knew how important it was until it was coming to its end and I could see so much movement among young people especially.
Our young people are a generation that can remake the world. We are more aware of the changes happening these days than any previous generation, but we really need to discuss them more. And we need to accept the challenges before us.
We are so fortunate to be living now because the challenges are so many and we need to use our imaginations in new ways.
Grace has requested to share the following statement recorded recently at her bedside. Please respect her privacy, as she cannot entertain interviews, phone calls, or visitors. Thank you for the love and struggle you have shared with her.
“I am coming to the end of a long journey—a journey that began over 70 years ago at the beginning of World War II. This journey has basically been to show that there is an alternative to the Bolshevik revolutionary prototype. It has taken us a long time to accomplish this, but we have been able to do so both as a result of our historical vision and because of the very practical efforts of comrades who have risen to the challenge of creating a revolution unlike any revolution that has been in the past.
“Because of my increasing physical limitations in the last few years, I have not been able to play the role that I might have played. But that is not as important now as recognizing what has been achieved. A revolution that is based on the people exercising their creativity in the midst of devastation is one of the great historical contributions of humankind.
“We will be finding ways and means to celebrate this, one of which will be the Reimagining Work and Culture conference in October. We want people to understand how much this concept of new work and new culture is based upon not only enormous activity but also on vision and on imagination.”
The long-awaited DVD version of "American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs" is now available. Please see the PBS store for more information:
For institutional copies (such as libraries and universities), please go to the Good Docs website:
Do you want to host a free community screening of "American Revolutionary"? P.O.V. will assist with community engagement.
See the Partner Toolkit and find more resources at the PBS/P.O.V. website:
"American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs" hit the film festival circuit in summer 2013
and has already begun to rack up awards.
Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature
-Los Angeles Film Festival
Best Documentary Feature (critics' choice) AND
Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature (tie)
-Woodstock Film Festival
Congratulations to director Grace Lee and all who made the film possible!
Can't bring your group to a local book release party? The Boggs Center can bring a discussion to your group for a video conference via Skype.
Here's all you need to do:
1) Organize a group of 25 or more persons to buy and study The Next American Revolution. This could be a high school or college class, a community group, a political organization, or just a grouping of neighbors and friends.
2) Contact the Boggs Center through our website (www.boggscenter.org) or by using the "Contact" box on this website. We'll get back to you by email.
3) Work out the meeting time and technology requirements (basically you need Skype, a good internet connection, and a way for your group to see and hear the video and audio from the computer) with a Boggs Center volunteer.
Please note that Grace will do her best at the age of 98 to participate in these discussions. However, as it is not possible for her to satisfy all requests, we will encourage you to engage with her Detroit colleagues connected to the Boggs Center. The Boggs Center is comprised a diverse body of community-based activists and theorists whose life and work are embodied in The Next American Revolution.
"Boggs, one of this year’s V3con honorees, joined MSNBC dayside anchor Richard Lui for a conversation about race, politics and activism for V3con’s closing. But age was the string of the conversation, sponsored by Union Bank. Boggs often pointed toward fresh faces in the audience, who nodded briskly as she told her own story, which started in Providence, R.I., in 1915."
See story by Adam Kealoha Causey and photos at: http://v3con.com/2013/06/16/grace-lee-boggs-urges-v3con-audience-to-push...
June 15, 2003: Grace was honored with the Visibility Award from the V3 Asian American Digital Media Conference in Los Angeles. Afterwards, she engaged in a deep and moving conversation about life and struggle with MSNBC anchor Richard Lui.
— Richard Lui MSNBC (@RichardLui) June 16, 2013
"AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY: THE EVOLUTION OF GRACE LEE BOGGS"
The long-awaited film from director Grace Lee (who featured Grace Lee Boggs in the 2005 film, "The Grace Lee Project") has now arrived.
See June 2013 listings under this website's events page for information about the world premiere in Los Angeles plus regional premieres in Detroit and Washington, DC.
Stay tuned for more screenings and special events across the nation.
See the film's official website and Facebook page for more info and to stay updated:
From the film's website:
What does it mean to be an American revolutionary today? Grace Lee Boggs is a 97-year-old Chinese American woman in Detroit whose vision of revolution may surprise you. A writer, activist, and philosopher rooted for more than 70 years in the African American movement, she has devoted her life to an evolving revolution that encompasses the contradictions of America’s past and its potentially radical future.
The documentary film, AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY: THE EVOLUTION OF GRACE LEE BOGGS, plunges us into Boggs’s lifetime of vital thinking and action, traversing the major U.S. social movements of the last century; from labor to civil rights, to Black Power, feminism, the Asian American and environmental justice movements and beyond. Boggs’s constantly evolving strategy—her willingness to re-evaluate and change tactics in relation to the world shifting around her—drives the story forward. Angela Davis, Bill Moyers, Bill Ayers, Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis, Danny Glover, Boggs’s late husband James and a host of Detroit comrades across three generations help shape this uniquely American story. As she wrestles with a Detroit in ongoing transition, contradictions of violence and non-violence, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, the 1967 rebellions, and non-linear notions of time and history, Boggs emerges with an approach that is radical in its simplicity and clarity: revolution is not an act of aggression or merely a protest. Revolution, Boggs says, is about something deeper within the human experience — the ability to transform oneself to transform the world.
As it kinetically unfurls an evolving life, city, and philosophy, AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY takes the viewer on a journey into the power of ideas and the necessity of expansive, imaginative thinking, as well as ongoing dialectical conversation, to propel societal change.
Produced and directed by Grace Lee (JANEANE FROM DES MOINES, THE GRACE LEE PROJECT), edited by Kim Roberts (FOOD INC, WAITING FOR SUPERMAN, LOST BOYS OF SUDAN, INEQUALITY FOR ALL), produced by Caroline Libresco (SUNSET STORY) and Austin Wilkin (BOB AND THE MONSTER), and with a lush score by Vivek Maddala (KABOOM, HIGHWAY), AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY: THE EVOLUTION OF GRACE LEE BOGGS, has been 12 years in the making. It incorporates a rich archival trove from the 1920s to the present and visual effects to reinforce Boggs’s statement that history “is the story of the past as well as the future.” Animated graphics by Syd Garon and Casey Ryder from Studio Number One bring Boggs’s whirring mind to life, illustrating her view that ideas are not fixed, but that once they become fixed, they are dead.
In an age when seemingly insurmountable injustices and contradictions face us, AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY inspires concerned citizens and dreamers of all ages with new thinking to sustain their struggle and engagement.
The paperback edition of The Next American Revolution is updated with a new preface plus afterword featuring a conversation between Grace Lee Boggs and Immanuel Wallerstein adapted from their historic conversation at the 2010 U.S. Social Forum in Detroit.
More information at the UC Press website: