Grace Lee Boggs dead at 100



Democracy Now is reporting that Detroit activist, educator, and author Grace Lee Boggs has died. She was 100.

Just 20 years ago, Grace Lee Boggs was a rather obscure local figure, a feminist, scholar, and author who carried on the campaign she waged with her late husband Jimmy. Then, in 1994, she co-founded Detroit Summer, “a multi-racial, inter-generational collective” that serves as a training ground for activists, attracting young people from around the country each year. And her longtime home on the city’s east side has been transformed into the nonprofit Boggs Center. Now there's even a Boggs charter school on Mitchell Street in Detroit.

We at Metro Times have written about her again and again. Last year, we named her the Best Local Social Activist in our Best of Detroit issue. Boggs believed that the crumbling of Detroit represents the failure of capitalism, and its rebirth will come not from the actions of elected leaders, but through action at the grassroots level, building up. In progressive circles around the world, she is revered. She was even the subject of a documentary on PBS, giving her the national prominence she has so long deserved. She marked her 100th birthday this summer, and continued into her old age to touch the lives of many, and inspired many more.

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