Author, Activist, Philosopher, And Feminist

Author, Activist, Philosopher, And Feminist

Written on 08/12/2023

Grace Lee Boggs was a Chinese American author, radical justice and social activist, philosopher, and feminist.

On a scholarship, Lee went on to study at Barnard College, where she was influenced by Kant and Hegel. She graduated in 1935 and in 1940 received her Ph.D. in philosophy from Bryn Mawr College. Facing significant barriers in the academic world in the 1940s, she took a low-paying job at the University of Chicago Philosophy Library. As a result of their activism on tenants' rights, she joined the far-left Workers Party. At this point, she began the path that she would follow for the rest of her life: a focus on struggles in African America.

Boggs’ last book was “The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century” (2011, with Scott Kurashige). In it she aligned herself with revolutionaries in the spirit of Thoreau, Gandhi and Dr. King. “We are not subversives,” she wrote. “We are struggling to change this country because we love it.” Her life was the subject of the documentary film American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs (2013), produced and directed by the American filmmaker Grace Lee.   Her life was a contemporary example of the intersectionality of Asian and African heritage in America.  In 2014, The Social Justice Hub at The New School's newly opened University Center was named the Baldwin Rivera Boggs Center after activists James Baldwin, Sylvia Rivera, and Grace Lee Boggs.


"You cannot change society unless you take responsibility for it."

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