I was fortunate enough the other day to receive a link (on Google + where I get many of my most interesting links these days) to a video about the 96 Year old activist and writer, Grace Lee Boggs.
Firstly I was impressed by the crystal clear intellect of this woman who has been involved in Civil Rights as well as feminist and union issues throughout her long life. She is still writing books into her nineties and appearing on television as well as having a busy round of presentations and speeches.
What most impresses me about Grace Lee Boggs is her vision of the future. Having lived through the many events of the last ninety years in her country she has kept a vision of what might happen next and seen all the events in terms of the development of a post-industrial society.
Her vision is not one of deserted streets and factories being taken back by nature. She does not see the inevitability of wholesale crime and devastation. No, at her advanced age and nearing the inevitability of her own end, she sees only the possibility of a new way of living coming from the broken buildings and lost hopes of industrial decline.
She has lived in Detroit Michigan for the last 58 years. In the video she discusses the decline of this once thriving city. She does not see a 25% decline in the population of the city as being a significant thing. She talks about regeneration based on a different “paradigm”. She also has plenty to say about the way that education needs to change in this new post-industrial world.
She is certainly someone for America to be proud of and someone that the politicians and businessmen should listen to. She has the vision of the future that they so sadly lack and that they most definitely need.