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The life of Chinese-American civil rights activist Grace Lee Boggs
Politics • Philosophy • Civil Rights • Asian American
Race and Ethnicity • African American • Women's Studies
2013. Director Grace Lee. Producers Grace Lee, Caroline Libresco & Austin Wilkin.
82 Minutes. Transcript available.
What does it mean to be an AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY today? Grace Lee Boggs, a Chinese American woman in Detroit, who died in October 2015 at 100 years old, has a surprising vision of revolution. A writer, activist, and philosopher rooted for more than 70 years in the African American movement, she devoted her life to an evolving revolution that encompassed the contradictions of America’s past and its potentially radical future. This Peabody Award-winning documentary plunges us into Boggs’ lifelong practice of igniting community dialogue and action, work that traverses 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.
Angela Davis, Bill Moyers, Bill Ayers, Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis, Danny Glover, Boggs’s husband James Boggs 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 Jr., 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 in order to transform the world. More than ten years in the making, this inter-disciplinary film has a wide appeal to college students.
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Reviews & Quotes
★★★ 1/2 Highly Recommended (Video Librarian)