James Boggs (1919-1993) and Grace Lee Boggs (1915-2015) were two
largely unsung but critically important figures in the black
freedom struggle. Born and raised in Alabama, James Boggs came to
Detroit during the Great Migration, becoming an automobile worker
and a union activist. Grace Lee was a Chinese American scholar who
studied Hegel, worked with Caribbean political theorist C. L. R.
James, and moved to Detroit to work toward a new American
revolution. As husband and wife, the couple was influential in the
early stages of what would become the Black Power movement, laying
the intellectual foundation for racial and urban struggles
during one of the most active social movement periods in
recent U.S. history.
Stephen Ward details both the personal and the political dimensions
of the Boggses' lives, highlighting the vital contributions these
two figures made to black activist thinking. At once a dual
biography of two crucial figures and a vivid portrait of Detroit as
a center of activism, Ward's book restores the Boggses, and the
intellectual strain of black radicalism they shaped, to their
rightful place in postwar American history.