Skip to main content

James and Grace Lee Boggs Photographs and Audio-Visual Materials

Identifier: UAV001342

Scope and Content

Series 1: Audio Recordings, 1950s-1980s. Includes 5-inch reel-to-reel tapes, 7-inch reel-to-reel tapes, and cassette tapes. Series 2: Visual Materials, 1960s-1990s. Includes photographs, posters, stickers, and buttons.


  • 1951-1991


Language of Materials

Material primarily in English. One poster is in Italian.


Collection is open for research.


Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials.


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 1970s and 1980s the Boggses spent much of their time lecturing to university audiences, community organizations and revolutionary and radical groups nationwide.


2.25 Linear Feet ( .5 MB, 1 SB, 1 OS, 1 folder. )


The James and Grace Lee Boggs Photographs and Audio-Visual Materials document the personal and philosophical interests of the Boggses throughout their respective lives. Featured are audio recordings of lectures, sermons, and interviews by Rev. Albert Cleage (Jaramogi Abebe Agyeman), Malcolm X, Milton Henry, and C.L.R. James, among others, and recordings from entities such as the Freedom NOW Party and the National Grassroots Leadership Conference. Though not as heavily represented, recordings of both James and Grace Lee Boggs offer insight into the evolution of their personal beliefs. Photographs are primarily of a personal nature, and include numerous snapshots. Graphic materials include buttons and stickers pertinent to issues involving Detroit politics and community activism, as well as a poster advertising a lecture that James Boggs gave in Italy, likely in 1968.


Material is arranged in two series.

Series 1 (Boxes 1-2) contains audio recordings, further divided into subseries by format, and arranged chronologically.

Series 2 (Box 3) contains visual materials, further divided into subseries by formats, and is arranged alphabetically.


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. Additional donations were made in 1993, 1994, and 2008.

Other Copies

Digital Copies of many of the audio recordings are available for research.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Elizabeth Clemens on January 7, 2020.
Guide to the James and Grace Lee Boggs Photographs and Audio-Visual Materials
Processed by Elizabeth Clemens
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA