In Love and Struggle: The Revolutionary Lives of James and Grace Lee Boggs
Stephen Ward, Associate Professor at the University of Michigan Residential, is a historian in the Social Theory and Practice program and is jointly appointed in the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies. He was the founding coordinator of the Urban Studies minor and serves as the faculty director of the Semester in Detroit program. He teaches courses in African American history, urban and community studies, and Detroit history. He is the author of In Love and Struggle: The Revolutionary Lives of James and Grace Lee Boggs (2016) and the editor of Pages From a Black Radical's Notebook: A James Boggs Reader (2011). He is a board member of the James and Grace Lee Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership in Detroit.
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.