The author, activist, philosopher and Nobel Peace Prize Winner Grace Lee Boggs made it to 100 years old. Friends and admirers held a birthday party for Boggs Friday night at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African-American history. About 400 attended.
Ron Scott was a black panther fifty years ago. That’s when he met Grace Lee Boggs. He says he’s been learning from Boggs ever since.
“Are you ready for revolution?” Scott asked.
“Yes!” responded the crowd of people many of whom are a quarter of Boggs’ age.
“Are you ready for revolution?” Scott repeated.
“That’s what Grace is asking,” Scott said. “Because I can not be a revolutionary for the world unless I transform myself. That’s what she’s teaching.”
Boggs’ revolution is not violent. She’s predicted that poverty and racism will lead to worker owned factories, business and farms.
Boggs wasn’t at the event. She has been in hospice for several months. Friends describe her as in and out of consciousness. They’re pleased they can still celebrate her life while she’s alive. Tawana “Honeycomb” Petty says Grace Lee Boggs has touched every part of her own life. She’s just 38. She’s a poet and activist.
“You’ve been on the bound much longer than most. And the bridges you’ll journey won’t be easy to coast but you will make it. And bring warriors with you. Armed with devotion. They will defend your dignity and honor your namesake. You are Detroit. The road to progression. The mirror image of endurance. And you hold the key to taking back our humanity. Peace Y’all.”
In 2013, friends started a charter elementary school on the east side based on the lives of Boggs and her late husband Jimmy. It is communal, multi-racial and organic.