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James and Grace Lee Boggs Papers

 Collection
Identifier: UP001342
Part I: The papers of James and Grace Lee Boggs, much of it relating to their publications and speaking engagements, reflect their involvement with radical political ideas and groups as well as their community activism in Detroit's neighborhoods.

Important subjects covered in the collection are: African-American Church African-Americans--Michigan—Detroit Asian Political Alliance Community Development--Michigan--Detroit Community Organizations--Michigan--Detroit Crime--Michigan--Detroit Educational Reform Environmental Protectionism Inner City Organizing Committee Radicalism--United States Michigan Committee for Organizing the Unemployed National Organization for an American Revolution (NOAR) Native Americans People's Republic of China Racism Religion and Marxism Save Our Sons and Daughters Unemployment--Michigan Urban Development

Among the important correspondents are: Paul Buhle James Chaffers Ossie Davis Ruby Dee W. H. and Carol Ferry Todd Gitlin Kathleen Gough Julia Herre Frances Herring Alice Mary Hilton C. L. R. James Robert Mendoza Wyndham Mortimer Kwame Nkrumah Lyman and Frances Paine Bertrand Russell Luis Tsen

Series Description: Series I, James Boggs, 1962-1987: Correspondence of James and Grace Lee Boggs, speeches by James Boggs and rough drafts for The American Revolution.

Series II, Grace Lee Boggs, 1965-1985: Material relating to the National Organization for an American Revolution (NOAR), the Inner City Organizing Committee (ICOC) and the Michigan Committee for Organizing the Unemployed (M-COU) and speeches by Grace Lee Boggs.
Part II: Part 2 of the collection continues documenting the Boggs’ writings, publication and involvement in the community of Detroit as well as various organizations, such as NOAR. Also included are other organizations like SOSAD, ICOC, WEPROS, TIPO MOVE and MCOU. Materials regarding Detroit largely focus on the African American community but others, such as the Native American and Mexican American communities, are documented as well.

Important Subjects: African-American Church African-Americans--Michigan—Detroit Asian Political Alliance Community Development--Michigan--Detroit Community Organizations--Michigan--Detroit Crime--Michigan--Detroit Educational Reform Environmental Protectionism Inner City Organizing Committee Radicalism--United States Michigan Committee for Organizing the Unemployed National Organization for an American Revolution (NOAR) Native Americans People's Republic of China Racism Religion and Marxism Save Our Sons and Daughters Training Institute for Popular Organization Unemployment--Michigan Urban Development We the People Reclaim Our Streets

Important Names: Raya Dunayevskaya Jim Ellis W. H. and Carol Ferry Kathleen Gough Tom Holzinger James Jacksin C.L.R James Yanique Joseph Joyce King Ken Meter Kwame Nkrumah Frances (Freddy) and Lyman Paine Gwen Patton Mark Satin Ricky Sherover-Marcuse Dennis Terry Luis and Wenti Tsen Roberto Vargas Eric Williams
Part III: Materials relating to Grace's involvement in the formation and operation of the Asian Political Alliance (APA). Also includes writings, speeches, and research notes of James and Grace Lee Boggs from the 1930s to 1980s. Topics include revolutionary ideals and leaders, economy, and philosophy.

Dates

  • 1930 - 1993

Creator

Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.

Access

Collection is open for research.

Use

Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials. Restrictions: Researchers may encounter records of a sensitive nature – personnel files, case records and those involving investigations, legal and other private matters. Privacy laws and restrictions imposed by the Library prohibit the use of names and other personal information which might identify an individual, except with written permission from the Director and/or the donor.

Extent

23 Linear Feet (18 SB, 10 MB)

Abstract

James and Grace Lee Boggs played a leading role in organizing radical groups in Detroit and nationally and contributed to the founding of the National Organization for an American Revolution (NOAR). Their papers relate largely to their publications and speaking engagements, reflecting their involvement with radical organizations and in updating radical political theory, as well as their community activism in Detroit.

History

James and Grace Lee Boggs were revolutionary socialists who played a leading role in organizing radical organizations in Detroit and nationally as well as theorizing and updating the political philosophy of Marxism-Leninism. James Boggs was also a career auto worker employed at the Chrysler Corporation from 1940 to 1968. Mr. Boggs authored a number of books, including The American Revolution: Pages From a Negro Worker’s Notebook, Racism and the Class Struggle: Further Pages From a Black Worker’s Notebook, Revolution and Evolution in the Twentieth Century and Conversations in Maine. He died on July 22, 1993.

Grace Lee Boggs, who received a Ph.D. from Bryn Mawr College in 1940, co-authored Revolution and Evolution in the Twentieth Century and Conversations in Maine with her husband. Dr. Boggs was also employed by the city of Detroit as a teacher for many years. The Boggses also contributed to the founding of the National Organization for an American Revolution (NOAR) from 1979-1981 and were primary theorists and organizers for NOAR from 1979-1987. During the 1970's and 1980's the Boggses spent much of their time lecturing to university audiences, community organizations and revolutionary and radical groups nationwide.

Arrangement

Part I: Arranged in 2 series – Series 1 (Boxes 1-4), and Series 2 (Boxes 4-6). Folders are arranged alphabetically.
Part II: Folders are listed by their location within each box. They are not necessarily arranged, so any given subject may be dispersed throughout the entire collections.
Part III: Folders are arranged alphabetically.

Acquisition

Part I: The papers of James and Grace Lee Boggs were placed in the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs in 1987 by James and Grace Lee Boggs.
Part II: Additional material was received in November 1993 and January 1994.
Part III: Additional material was received in 2008.

Related Materials

Martin and Jessie Glaberman Papers; Frances (Freddy) and Lyman Paine Papers; Grace Lee Boggs oral history

Transfers

Part I: A few photographs and cassette tapes received with the papers have been place in the Archives Audiovisual Collection.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library in January 1993.
Part II: Processed and finding aid updated by Jennifer Meekhof on January 10, 2012.
Part III: Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library in October 2008.
Title
Guide to the James and Grace Lee Boggs Papers
Status
completed
Author
Processed by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Date
1993-01
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English

Revision Statements

  • 2012-01-10: Part 2 processed and finding aid updated by Jennifer Meekhof.
  • 2008-10: Part 3 processed and finding aid updated.

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

Contact:
5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA