The Legacy of James Boggs’ The American Revolution

The Legacy of James Boggs’ The American Revolution


The quarterly journal of black politics, ‘Souls’, has dedicated the entire Fall 2011 issue to examining the life work of political activist, James Boggs. Guest editor Matthew Birkhold assembled writers and scholars to explain, in seven comprehensive essays, the ongoing relevance of Boggs’ work .

James Boggs, alongside wife and collaborator, Grace Lee Boggs, fervently opposed civil and economic injustices throughout decades of a tumultuous 20th century. They were actively engaged in the civil rights and Black Power movements, during which time Boggs wrote his celebrated work, ‘The American Revolution’.

James Boggs reached new audiences this year partly due to the Spring release of Pages From a Black Radical’s Notebook: A James Boggs Reader, an anthology of writings spawning the years 1954-1993. Boggs died in 1993.

“Fourteen months from now, The American Revolution will be fifty years old,” Birkhold writes. “I believe that this this little book is one of the most important things ever written in the english language and think more folks should be familiar with it. Commemorating the book’s fiftieth anniversary seemed like a good entry point into spreading the legacy of the book, and the managing editor of Souls, Elizabeth Hinton, as well as the late Manning Marable, agreed and were both extremely enthusiastic about the project.“

Contributors to the issue include Grace Lee Boggs, Nyanza Bandele, William Copeland, Robeson Taj P. Frazier, Cedric Johnson, Stephen M. Ward (editor of Pages From a Black Radical’s Notebook: A James Boggs Reader) and Birkhold.


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