91.7 Ann Arbor/Detroit 104.1 Grand Rapids 91.3 Port Huron 89.7 Lansing 91.1 Flint
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Arts & Life

Putting the evolution in revolution: Detroit's Grace Lee Boggs featured on PBS

On Being

Grace Lee Boggs celebrates her 99th birthday this week.

The Detroit woman is an icon of the Black Power, civil rights and labor movements.

She was born to Chinese immigrant parents in 1915. Eventually, she became one of the only non-black and female leaders in the Black Power Movement.

A new film about Grace Lee Boggs, "American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs," will debut on the PBS series "POV" on June 30.   

Filmmaker Grace Lee joined Stateside today.

Grace Lee is not related to Grace Lee Boggs but said their names brought them together when Lee created a film called "The Grace Lee Project," which explored the many facets of Asian American women and the common name of Grace Lee.

“I knew that when I met Grace Lee Boggs that I would have to make a longer film about her someday,” Lee said.

And that’s what she did. Lee said what really drew her in was the idea that evolution is part of revolution, a comment made in a lot of Grace Lee Boggs' writing.

“I think the ability to really reflect on what a certain movement has given us and where there might be contradictions and where you can sort of move forward from that has really been helpful for me in my own life,” Lee said.

Lee said that what she hopes viewers take away from the film is that the story is not just an evolution of Boggs, but of the story of Detroit and the United States.

“I think it is really important for us to know these stories that may not necessarily be so familiar, but they are just sort of under the surface,” Lee said.

You can read more about the film on PBS website here.

*Listen to full interview above.