Grace Lee Boggs, the 96-year-old political activist from Detroit, will be speaking at the New School tonight. The Voice had the chance to interview Boggs on Friday and will be posting our interview next week. Though confined to a wheelchair, the nonagenarian activist keeps up a busy work and travel schedule. Our chat with Boggs, who was born “two years before the Russian revolution,” was extremely revelatory and had several surprising gems, including:
* Boggs’ belief that the late Manning Marable’s Malcolm X, which just won the Pulitzer last week, is “a terrible biography!” (Boggs once tried unsuccessfully to get Malcolm X to run for the U.S. Senate from Detroit.)
* One of the biggest problems facing activists today is “the absolute failure of imagination of the left.”
* Her observation, having been married for decades to an African American, that judging by the billboards she saw in New York this weekend, “You’d think everyone had to multiracial to be worth anything!”
* Her sense of optimism about Detroit, the city which has been her home for decades, despite (or partially, because of) its economic woes.
Check back soon for our interview with Boggs, where we’ll share some of her insights on politics, activism, life and love after nearly a century on the planet. To see her in person, she’ll be at the New School’s Tishman Auditorium tonight from 6 to 8. Admission is free.