guest post by grace lee: youth is overrated

Aloha! I'm on vacation, taking a much-needed break from blogging for a bit. But it's all good, because I've enlisted the help of some great guest bloggers to keep things going around here. Here's filmmaker Grace Lee talking about Grace Lee Boggs and the next American revolution.

For the past few years I've been working on a feature documentary on Grace Lee Boggs, a 96-year-old Chinese American revolutionary philosopher and activist in Detroit.

Here are a few things I've learned along the way:

1) That an all-Black ballot (the Freedom Now Party) in 1964 could include a Chinese American woman.

2) What you learn in philosophy class will help guide you for the rest of your life. #Hegel

3) I need to read more Hegel.

4) Malcolm X and Martin Luther King had more in common than most of us know.

5) Detroit is the new black.

6) I now know the answer to "What am I going to do with a history degree?"

7) The difference between a riot and a rebellion. (e.g. the Detroit Rebellions of 1967, the 1992 LA Rebellions, or the London Rebellions of August 2011).

8) The Southern California Library, aka the People's Library, in south Los Angeles is an amazing resource.

9) You can't practice being president. You can't practice being old. And aging is not for sissies. - Grace Lee Boggs.

10) I will stop kvetching about being old.

11) A conversation can be a revolutionary act.

I first met Grace Lee Boggs in 2000 while I was making another film: The Grace Lee Project, about Asian American stereotypes and the incredibly common name we happen to share. Grace was 86 at the time and her mere existence blew my mind. Here was a woman who grew up in New York City during the Depression and graduated with a PhD in philosophy at age 25 only to devote her life to the burgeoning African American movement.

From New York to Chicago's south side, to Detroit where she's lived for more than 60 years, she has actively participated in the major social movements in this country, including labor, civil rights, Black Power, the women's movement, and most recently the movement to rebuild Detroit. Until she published her autobiography in 1998, however, most Asian Americans had never heard of Grace and the fascinating story of how a life devoted to the next American revolution is the story of right now.

For more information: www.americanrevolutionaryfilm.com

Help us get this film done!

Grace Lee's previous films include The Grace Lee Project and American Zombie. She works in both fiction and documentary and is based in Los Angeles.

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