lessons from grace lee boggs, who is 99 (with sage crump)

detroit-based philosopher activist grace lee boggs just turned 99! happy birthday grace!! sister comrade emergence scholar sage crump started off a list of lessons learned from grace. i added to it. please feel free to add more about what elder grace has taught you.

adrienne: know your references…be willing to point people towards the books and cultural influences that shape you before engaging in conversation. it is totally fine if one of your primary references is your beloved.

sage: Name a thing correctly. There is a difference between a riot and a rebellion.

adrienne: have the conversation you are interested in, that feels worth your miraculous time. watching grace i have seen that there is an elegant way to do this – smile, shrug, and then ask if they have read the book you are reading, raise the topic you want to dive into. also, feel free to end the conversation when you are done!

sage: Let time, other people and new information influence you. We don’t shift with the trend or the wind but it is absolutely okay to say I have a new perspective on this now.

adrienne: yes! if you believe in transformation, your politics should change as you grow and learn, you have a responsibility to keep learning.

sage: Reflection is as important as action. Being in a room of people discussing struggle/movements/ideologies is as vital as being in the streets. It provides clarity, builds community and deepens our analysis which increases our capacity to develop radical solutions.

adrienne: ask more questions. to people of all ages, all backgrounds, all belief systems. there are teachers and opportunities to transform everywhere. ‘you are nobody unless you are somebody to other somebodies.’

sage: Surround yourself with brilliant, committed people! You will keep each other going and growing.

adrienne: transform yourself to transform the world. you are the microcosm. internalize the critique and the generation of solutions.

Author: Adrienne

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): The Indian activist Gandhi led many peaceful rebellions against oppressive governments, first in South Africa and later in British-controlled India. At first he called his strategy "passive resistance," but later disavowed that term because it had negative implications. He ultimately chose the Sanskrit word satyagraha, meaning "love force" or "truth force." "Truth ('satya') implies love," he said, "and firmness ('agraha') is a synonym for force. 'Satyagraha' is thus the force which is born of truth and love." According to my reading of the astrological omens, Virgo, satyagraha should be your word of power in the coming weeks. Your uprising against the forces of darkness has got to do more than say "no." A fierce, primal yes should be at the heart of your crusade.

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