Grace Lee Boggs: A Century of Grass-Roots Organizing

Grace Lee Boggs was born in 1915, the child of Chinese immigrants, above the family’s restaurant in Providence, Rhode Island.  By 16, she was at Barnard College, and by the age of 25 had her Ph.D. in philosophy from Bryn Mawr. I asked her how she became an activist:

“In those days, even department stores would come out and say, ‘We don’t hire Orientals,’” she told me. With her doctorate in hand, she moved to Chicago, where, she said, “I got a job in the philosophy library for $10 a week ... it wasn’t enough to get a place to live, other than [a] basement, rent-free. I had to face down a barricade of rats in order to get to the basement. That made me rat-conscious, made me join a tenants’ committee against rat-infested housing, which brought me into contact with the black community for the first time in my life, and enabled me to become part of the March on Washington movement organized by A. Philip Randolph.”

Read the full article at Truthdig

 

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