I am proud to be one of the many who think of Grace Lee Boggs as a mentor in the art and craft of Revolution. She taught me much about human potentiality and the power of the imagination. These ideas were material to her.
Grace and her husband James Boggs were at the core of a group of people dedicated to understanding the kinds of changes needed to sustain radical change in the US. In the late 1970’s and early 80’s people felt motivated to coalesce as the National Organization for an American Revolution (NOAR). We defined revolution as a fundamental change in the relationships between people on all levels. To help this change, we sought to the experience of those who had been locked out of the “American Dream”; people of color, women, youth and working people in the heavy industries of the midwest who were rapidly losing any ground that had been made in the 1950’s and 1960’s.
As a member of NOAR in the 1980s and 90’s, I would be challenged to go beyond my narrow definitions of what radical politics entails, and to get involved in struggles for people’s dignity here in the States, in Africa, and Latin America as well as movements to repair our relationship to the earth.
Till the end of her 100-year long life, she continued to grow and to teach from a profound sense of possibility.
In one obituary she is quoted from a recent talk :
“We need to find that balance of life that respects each other, that thinks that the most important thing at this time on the clock of the world is not our accumulation of things, is not economic growth which threatens and imperils all life on this planet including ourselves, that the time has come to grow our souls, to grow our relationships with one another, to create families that are loving and communities that are loving, to bring the neighbor back into the hood.”