Letter from the James and Grace Lee Boggs Center

By James and Grace Lee Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership Oct 31, 2018

To our friends at Facing Race,

We welcome you to Detroit at a moment of great dangers and great possibilities. We hope that the energy and insights you bring as activists, intellectuals, organizers, story tellers, artists, caring and concerned individuals will strengthen our efforts to create sustainable, just and joyful life in our communities. While you are here we invite you to consider two questions that have long been associated with the legacy and vision of James and Grace Lee Boggs:

What time is it on the clock of the world?

Why does Detroit matter?

Many people know that Detroit is deeply divided as development, spurred by corporate interests, celebrates the emerging whiter, wealthier downtown, while neighborhoods experience foreclosures, water shut offs, displacement, and despair. Over the last five years, we have witnessed the brutality of racial capital as our democracy was stripped away, our elders were forced into deeper poverty, our children were abused in schools, our public resources were turned to corporate control, and our neighborhoods decimated.

These assaults have been met with resistance at every level and an intensification of our commitment to create new, just, sustainable and ways of living that reflect care for one another and the earth we share. We believe that these efforts hold the possibilities for a new future for all of us.

We know that the future is neither assured nor certain. We are in a battle for the very soul of our city and of the people of this land. It is a battle over the most basic of human rights and the most expansive, inclusive visions for our futures.

This battle did not start yesterday. Our imaginations and ideas have emerged from organizing, questioning, reflecting, evaluating, and studying our practice over decades. In 1967 we made a fundamental distinction between rebellion and revolution, recognizing that rebellions were the just uprisings against oppression, but they are not a revolution. Revolutions are for new ways of advancing our common humanity. We have come to recognize that Dr. Martin Luther King’s call for a “radical revolution in values” is at the heart of the transformations we seek.

Detroit is an epicenter of the struggle between revolution and counter revolution, between the death of the old industrial ways of living and the emergence of new visions of how we can live.

We invite you to join us in our journey toward an emergent future. Visit our Center, check out the vast materials on our web site, and let us imagine together the possibilities of creating the world anew.

To learn more about Detroit:

James and Grace Lee Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership