The Asian Weekly would like to pay tribute to an amazing woman, and not just because she recently celebrated her 100th birthday.
We have been fortunate to have Grace Lee Boggs as an activist for the past century.
Tiffany Ran interviewed Boggs in 2012 for the Weekly and Ran wrote:
“In the early 1930s, at age 16, Boggs witnessed the Great Depression from behind college gates as a student at Barnard College. She watched as fellow students joined the Communist Party and took part in protests. She felt the need to turn inward to question the riotous world around her. When she graduated in 1935, many stores and businesses still refused to hire “Orientals.”
Instead, Boggs enrolled at Bryn Mar College to earn a doctorate in philosophy. Throughout her time in school, Boggs felt the need to experience grassroots issues and organizing at ground level. While her protests began as silent and internal, that would soon change, as would she.”
Here are some unforgettable quotes from the interview:
“I was born in 1915 in what was later known as the First World War, two years before the Russian Revolution, and because I was born to Chinese immigrant parents and because I was born a female, I learned very quickly that the world needed changing,”… “But what I also learned as I grew older was [that] how we see the world and how we change the world has to change.”
“Asian Americans should be careful not to adopt a victim or minority mindset.”
Regarding Albert Einstein, she said:
“He also said that ‘imagination is more important than education.’ ”
“The time has come for us to reimagine everything,” said Boggs, in reference to Einstein’s words. “We have to reimagine work and get away from labor. We have to reimagine revolution and get away from protest. We have to reimagine institutions and think about our own internal change.”
When discussing activism:
“…activists take part in reimagining new solutions for their community, rather than just protesting ways in which government and corporations have erred, expecting them to fix it.”
Thank you Grace, for your contribution to our national community.
And happy birthday. (end)