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Grace Lee Boggs: Sister Revolutionary (Updated Encore)

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Anti-Asian violence and hate has increased since the start of the pandemic last year. #StopAsianHate became a viral hashtag much like #BlackLivesMatter in the wake of Black people killed by police officers. The relationship between Black and Asian Americans is complicated. However, the groups are united in their efforts to call out white supremacy as the source of the violence against both groups.

Solidarity between the Asian and Black community is common. Take Grace Lee Boggs, an Asian-American, who spent the better part of the last century in Detroit advocating for human rights for Black people. On today’s program we honor the life and legacy of civil rights activist Grace Lee Boggs and highlight her organizing work with African Americans.

Through the lens of the documentary film, American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs we present a close and personal view of Grace’s activism. Produced by Grace Lee, the documentary film, American Revolutionary, 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.

Grace Lee Boggs died October 5, 2015. Born on June 27, 1915.

Special thanks to Grace Lee, the producer and director of American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs.

Image Credit: Flickr

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  • Grace Lee Boggs, Activist and Scholar
  • Grace Lee, Filmmaker and Producer


  • Host/Producer: Anita Johnson

Making Contact Staff:

  • Staff Producers: Monica Lopez, Anita Johnson, Salima Hamirani
  • Executive Director: Sonya Green

Music Credits:

  • Bontex, Creeping
  • Blue Dot Sessions, Grand Caravan
  • Invincible + Waajeed, Detroit Summer
  • Audio Banger, the Garden State


Author: Radio Project

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