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Grace Lee Boggs: 'We Need to Grow Our Souls'

Boggs: The "secret to visionary organizing" is a "combination of philosophy and activism"

Common Dreams staff

At an event to celebrate the work of Grace Lee Boggs, the long-time activist says that "we need to grow our souls" and emphasizes that the "secret to visionary organizing" is "a combination of philosophy and activism."

The Chinese Progressive Association in San Francisco held the event on March 3 titled Building the Next American Revolution: A Celebration and Tribute to Grace Lee Boggs.

In this segment, Boggs explains how the east-west dynamic is changing. Speaking of immigrants like her own parents who came from China, she says, "You came for this golden mountain of the American Dream, but now people are going east -- Apple, General Electric" are going to China. But, she says, "they make a mess of things. They poison the water. They poison the air. They exploit the workers and we envy them because we think they're growing economically and we owe them a lot of money."

In this segment she also gives "the secret to the future." She states that the "secret to visionary organizing" is a "combination of philosophy and activism."

(Boggs begins speaking at around 13:30.)

As Grace Lee Boggs continues she encourages us to "grow our souls."

"We need to grow our souls. We need to find that balance of life that respects each other, that thinks that the most important thing at this time on the clock of the world is not our accumulation of things, is not economic growth which threatens and imperils all life on this planet including ourselves, that the time has come to grow our souls, to grow our relationships with one another, to create families that are loving and communities that are loving, to bring the neighbor back into the hood... There are so many ways in which we can grow our souls and the souls of those around us."

This segment also takes a tender look at pictures from Boggs' childhood and early start in activism.

With hope and wisdom, Boggs says that the "older I grow... the more I feel that young people are the solution rather than the problem" and explains how that perspective has helped transform Detroit.


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