Civil Rights and Feminist Activist Grace Lee Boggs, 100


Courtesy of the Independent


Grace Lee Boggs, who over the course of more than seven decades threw her energies into the civil rights and labor movements, has died in Detroit. She was 100.

“She left this life as she lived it: surrounded by books, politics, people and ideas,” said her friends and caretakers Shay Howell and Alice Jennings.


At different times in her life, she was involved with the civil rights movement, Black Power, labor rights, environmental justice, and the feminist movement.


She was born to Chinese immigrant parents in 1915. In 1992, she co-founded the Detroit Summer youth program in an attempt to rebuild and renew her city.


Boggs was born in 1915 in Providence, Rhode Island, the child of Chinese immigrants, but grew up in New York City, where her father owned a Chinese restaurant on Broadway.


She won a scholarship to Barnard College for undergraduate studies, and earned a PhD from Bryn Mawr College in 1940. Boggs came to Detroit in the early 1950s to write for The Correspondence, a socialist newspaper.


In the 1960s and 1970s, Boggs and her late husband, Jimmy, were active in the movements of Black autoworkers.


After husband died in 1993, she founded in 1995 the James and Grace Lee Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership in Detroit.


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