American Revolutionary

PBS Premiere: June 30, 2014Check the broadcast schedule »

In Context

"I never ceased to envy and marvel at the fluency with which Jimmy wrote and the speed with which his pen would travel from the left side of the page to the right... His passion for writing, I am convinced, played an important role in his development as a leader and a revolutionary theoretician."

— Grace Lee Boggs, Living for Change: An Autobiography

James "Jimmy" Boggs was born in Marion Junction, Alabama in 1919. Though he never lost his thick Alabama accent, James Boggs spent his adult life in Detroit, where he was an autoworker, activist, and author. James Boggs was an influential part of the far left and radical sides of the civil rights movement, and much of his impact was made through the power of his writing. James Boggs was best known for his book, The American Revolution: Pages from a Negro Worker's Notebook, published in 1963. Grace Lee Boggs and James Boggs lived together in Detroit until his death in 1993.

Together, Grace and James were part of nearly every major social movement in the United States, from Black Power and civil rights, to labor, feminism, environmentalism, the Asian-American movement and more. In 1992, Grace and James helped found Detroit Summer, a community-based multicultural youth program. In 2013, one of its participants, Julia Putnam, helped create a community-based charter school inspired by Grace and James's philosophy on education and named it the James and Grace Lee Boggs School. The Boggs Center, a center for leadership development in Detroit, was also founded and named in their honor.


» American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs Press Kit.

» Cargo Collective. "The James and Grace Lee Boggs School.""

» The James and Grace Lee Boggs School.