James Boggs (activist)

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For other people with this name, see James Boggs
James (left) with Grace Lee Boggs

James Boggs (1919–1993) was an American political activist, auto worker and author. He was married to feminist activist Grace Lee Boggs for forty years until his death in 1993.

Biography[edit]

James Boggs was an African-American activist, perhaps best known for authoring, The American Revolution: Pages from a Negro Worker's Notebook in 1963. He was also an auto worker at Chrysler from 1940 until 1968. Boggs was active in the far left organization, Correspondence Publishing Committee led by C.L.R. James from around the time it left the Trotskyist movement in the early 1950s, until Boggs and Grace Lee Boggs led a split in 1962, breaking with C.L.R. James. When Correspondence Publishing Committee earlier suffered a split in 1955 led by Raya Dunayevskaya and lost nearly half its membership, Boggs and Grace Lee Boggs remained loyal to Correspondence Publishing Committee and an exiled C.L.R. James who advised the group from Britain. James Boggs was named the editor of their bi-monthly publication, also known as Correspondence, in 1955. However, political differences with C.L.R. James over time would eventually lead Boggs to take control over Correspondence Publishing Committee in 1962 and continue publication independently for a couple of years. James Boggs expressed the reasons for the 1962 split in his 1963 book, The American Revolution: Pages from a Negro Worker's Notebook.

In later years, he would play an influential role in the radical wing of the civil rights movement and interacted with many of the most important civil rights activists of the day including Malcolm X, Ossie Davis and many others.


Works[edit]

  • The American Revolution: Pages from a Negro Worker's Notebook (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1963).
  • Book Manifesto for a Black revolutionary party (Philadelphia, Pacesetters Pub. House, 1969).
  • Racism and the Class Struggle: Further Pages from a Black Worker's Notebook (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1970).
  • Lenin today; Eight essays on the hundredth anniversary of Lenin's birth (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1970). (with Paul Sweezy and Harry Magdoff)
  • The awesome responsibilities of revolutionary leadership (Detroit, Mich: Committee for Political Development, 1970). (with Grace Lee Boggs)
  • But what about the workers? (Detroit: Advocators, 1973). (with James Hocker)
  • Revolution and evolution in the twentieth century (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1974). (with Grace Lee Boggs)
  • Issues in race and ethnic relations: theory, research, and action (Itasca, Ill: F. E. Peacock Publishers, 1977). (with Jack Rothman)
  • Conversations in Maine: exploring our nation's future (Boston: South End Press, 1978). (with Grace Lee Boggs, Freddy Paine and Lyman Paine)
  • Towards a new concept of citizenship (Detroit: National Organization for an American Revolution, 1979).
  • Liberation or revolution? (Detroit: National Organization for an American Revolution, 1980).
  • These are the times that try our souls: the questions we have yet to ask ourselves (Detroit: National Organization for an American Revolution, 1981).(with Grace Lee Boggs and James Hocker)
  • Historical development of our social forces (Detroit: National Organization for an American Revolution, 1982) "Cadre Training School, Dec. 1-5, 1982."
  • Our American reality (Detroit: National Organization for an American Revolution, 1982) "Cadre Training School, Dec. 1-5, 1982."
  • The urgent plea: a call for Black leadership (Philadelphia: National Organization for an American Revolution, 1985).
  • What can we be that our children see? (Detroit: New Life Publishers, 1994).

External links[edit]

Sources[edit]

  • Paul Buhle, "An Asian-American Tale" Monthly Review (January 1999), pp. 47–50.
  • Grace Lee Boggs, Living for Change: An Autobiography (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1998).
  • Kent Worcester, C.L.R. James: A Political biography (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1996).