It was recently reported on Tumblr by friends and family that Grace Lee Boggs, the powerful and inspirational activist and civil rights icon who was the subject of the recent documentary American Revolutionary, is in hospice care.
With the knowledge that Boggs would not be able to respond to requests for interviews or to take phone calls, Boggs issued a statement from her bed for well-wishers (after the jump).
“I am coming to the end of a long journey—a journey that began over 70 years ago at the beginning of World War II. This journey has basically been to show that there is an alternative to the Bolshevik revolutionary prototype. It has taken us a long time to accomplish this, but we have been able to do so both as a result of our historical vision and because of the very practical efforts of comrades who have risen to the challenge of creating a revolution unlike any revolution that has been in the past.
“Because of my increasing physical limitations in the last few years, I have not been able to play the role that I might have played. But that is not as important now as recognizing what has been achieved. A revolution that is based on the people exercising their creativity in the midst of devastation is one of the great historical contributions of humankind.
“We will be finding ways and means to celebrate this, one of which will be the Reimagining Work and Culture conference in October. We want people to understand how much this concept of new work and new culture is based upon not only enormous activity but also on vision and on imagination.”
Boggs’ co-organization of the conference is related to her radical solution to the jobs crisis, wherein she challenges us to reimagine our definition of work. Boggs wrote in 2011:
The continuing jobs crisis is an opportunity to go beyond protest organizing for more jobs and begin imagining work that frees us from being the appendages to machines that we have become because of our dependence on jobs.
Instead of looking to politicians for programs that will provide millions of jobs, we need to encourage the creation of work that not only produces goods and services but develops our skills, protects our environment and lifts our spirits.
You can read more and register about the 2014 Reimagining Work conference at reimaginingwork.org. You can donate to this conference or to the Boggs Center in general by going to boggscenter.org and clicking Donate (to designate your donation for the conference, add the note “NWNC2014”).
Meanwhile, my thoughts and prayers go out to Boggs and to her friends and family.