Grace's Open Road

GRACE LEE BOGGS

Social Activist/Writer/Founder
Boggs Center

“In order to change society, we have to transform ourselves.”

INTERESTS:

Non-Profit Organizations Politics Writing

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Beliefs & Faith Culture Dedication Fulfillment Societal Pressures Success

TAGS:

change, civil rights, creativity, crime, depression, Detroit, discrimination, economy, march on washington, minority, philosophy, politics, rebellion, respect, responsibility, revolution, society, understanding, violence, World War II

BIOGRAPHY:

Grace Lee Boggs was born to Chinese immigrant parents in 1915 and received her Ph.D. in philosophy at Bryn Mawr College in 1940. Although growing up in a particularly political and social issues-heavy era, she was unaware of the divisiveness between whites and blacks during that time. After graduating, she wanted to work, but many people had stigmas about Chinese Americans and wouldn't hire her. In 1941, the depression was over for white workers, but not for blacks, nor for other people of color like Grace. There was a big movement organized by blacks in Washington, D.C., to contest the discrimination of not hiring people of color, and Grace wanted to get involved. The big civil rights movement that happened that year prompted Grace to become an activist for women and people of color. In 1953, she met her husband, James Boggs, also an activist, and moved to Detroit, Mich., where she works on many grassroots community projects and labor projects. She has been a social activist for more than 60 years and is cofounder of the Boggs Center.

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