“If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.”
The presence of Grace Lee Boggs at the U.S. Social Forum this year--95 years into her life as an activist and free thinker--was one of the aspects of the Forum that touched everything else that I experienced in Detroit.
During one celebration of her 95th birthday at the Social Forum, I heard Grace talk about once living in an apartment that she could only access via an alleyway that was infested with rats. "And that was important," she said, "because it made me rat-conscious!" I am amazed by her resilience and her tremendous mind.
On Thursday, I had the opportunity to hear Grace Lee Boggs speak with Immanuel Wallerstein. Introduced as "avid seekers of new truth," they have known each other since the 60's and seemed delighted to share the stage. Here are a few notes I took as I listened.
I am back from Detroit but still processing all that I took part in at the U.S. Social Forum. The Forum was amazing and I was so happy to participate and to help it to happen. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to be a part of the smaller as well as the larger organizations that I worked within.
Detroit itself was a lesson. One that I am still thinking about. I think we all appreciated the wide, desolate roads for our bikes, but the ghosts of industry and capital seemed caught in much of the city. It was difficult to ride through, despite the bike-able streets. More thoughts and reports-back to come.