Today’s Dame of the Day is Grace Lee Boggs (June 27, 1915 – October 5, 2015). After earning her Ph.D from Barnard College, Boggs opted against the exclusionary politics of professorship and took a job at the University of Chicago’s Philosophy Library. There, she met her collaborators C.L.R. James and Raya Dunayevskaya, joined the Worker’s Party, and refocused her energy into the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements. After marrying her husband, James Boggs, the couple relocated to Detroit and continued to found youth programs, community-based projects, and grassroots organizations. Boggs died last month at the age of 100.
Today’s Dame of the Day is Betty Reid Soskin (September 22, 1921-). Born in Detroit and raised in New Orleans near her Creole and Cajun roots, Soskin and her family later relocated to Oakland, California, after a hurricane and flood destroyed their business. Over the course of her working life, she served as a clerk during World War Two, wrote songs during the Civil Rights Movement, and worked as a field representative to California State Assemblywomen Dion Aroner and Loni Hancock. Through her efforts, Soskin and the Congresswomen were able to establish Rosie the Riveter/WWII Homefront National Historic Park in 2000. Today, she serves as Ranger at the park and, at 93 years old, is the oldest serving National Park Ranger.