Support Grace Lee Boggs
Revolutionary writer and activist, Grace Lee Boggs, graciously wrote the powerful foreword to Letters Lived: Radical reflections, revolutionary paths, a collection that features letters written by a diverse group of cross-generational social justice activists to their teen selves. Grace’s legacy of “rebuilding, respiriting and redefining” cities from the ground up has been at the core of the political organizations and processes she has been a part of for over 70 years. Grace is now 99, and health issues have prevented her from participating in public events or extensive interviews. In September of this year Grace went into hospice care, and we are happy to hear that over the last month she has become stronger. To ensure Grace continues to recieve quality care, a public trust has been started to help cover the costs associated with hospice care. If you are able to contribute, please do so through the Action Network, where the funds will go directly towards supporting Grace. You can follow the results of these efforts on the Boggs Center website.
As part of our ongoing tribute to Grace, we are sharing the work of the contributors to Letters Lived, who continue to fight for the inclusive, community-driven society Grace has always envisioned. Make sure you check out part 1 and 2 of our series as well.
Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha
Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha is a queer femme mixed Sri Lankan (Burgher/Tamil)-Ukranian/Irish writer, poet, educator healer, and cultural worker. Autostraddle recently profiled Leah to discuss her 20 plus years of tarot card reading – combining intersectional politics, community organizing, and radical healing to empower marginalized communities. Author of the Lambda award-winning Love Cake and Consensual Genocide, Leah recently published Bodymap, her third collection of poetry, containing new work on love, sex, and disability. This December, she will be hosting a five-week writing and performance class that will all take place online “by and for sick and disabled queer, trans and Two Spirit Indigenous, Black and People of Colour.” Leah continues to perform with Sins Invalid, a disability justice performance project, and co-runs Mangos With Chili, a queer and trans people of colour performance art group. Leah’s writer’s manual, Writing the World, and her memoir, Dirty River, are forthcoming in 2015. You can find out more about Leah and her work on her website brownstargirl.org and on her tarot website Brownstargirl Tarot.
Victoria B. Robinson
Victoria B. Robinson is an Afro-German activist, author, and mentor. Her work has been performed on stage and published in numerous books, anthologies, and magazines, including Voices of Black European Women and Noah Saw: Germany black and white. Robinson is a founding member of the Black European Women’s Council (BEWC) and an active member of the ISD — The Initiative of Black People in Germany. Robinson’s published work includes Hill Slam, and most recently, 111 Reasons to have a Best Friend. You can follow Robinson on her official website and Twitter page.
Kit Wilson-Yang is a Toronto-based musician, writer, and artist who creates work about colonization, heartbreak, friendship, and trans identity. Featured in Elisha Lim’s latest collection, 100 Crushes, Wilson-Yang and Lim share the transitions they both experienced, and what it means to find significant pronouns for oneself. Her most recent zine, Ancient Land, New Water, is a collection of stories and poems about her personal experiences of transition.
Professsor Rozena Maart is the Director of the Centre for Critical Research on Race and Identity (CCRRI) at the University of Kwa Zulu Natal in Durban. Dr. Maart’s work in the theatre, as well as her creative, journalistic, and academic writing, has continued to focus on race, gender, and creativity. Her book of short stories, Rosa’s District Six, and novel, The Writing Circle, were both published to great acclaim. Maart recently published “Race and Pedagogical Practices: When Race Takes Center Stage in Philosophy” in Hypatia, a journal of feminist philosophy, and was interviewed in Agenda: Empowering women for gender equity on the topic of black feminism in the 1980s. There are tons of great links on her website, including more about her family history and a list of her writings.