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Biographical Details of Leadership
Contemporary Lens on Black Leadership
Historical Focus on Race
Freedom Agenda – 1960s Blueprint
BOND: Now, do you see your legitimacy as a leader grounded in your ability to persuade people to follow your vision or in your ability to articulate the agenda of a movement?
JONES: Ohhh, wow. You honor me with these questions. Would you say it one more time?
BOND: Do you see your legitimacy as a leader grounded in your ability to persuade people to follow your vision or in your ability to articulate an agenda of a movement?
JONES: Hmmm — Well, the second half of that —
BOND: The agenda of a movement?
JONES: Yes. I try to say that Arnie Zane and I were — We were following the blueprint of the 1960s. In order words, I am not my body. Any distinctions between people because of race are illusory. Anyone if they work hard enough can be the President. All of these things we were taught, you know, that "free at last, free at last, freedom" so now is that the "agenda?"
The first part about that, this is what's really tricky when you have a performing artist sitting in front of you. We spend so much time trying to figure out how to get people to come and see what we do. Is that called following? Is that the same thing?
BOND: They come.
JONES: They come. They come, but you've got to work at it. It's a never-ending — Audience development never ends. Why am I not like a humble saint? Why am I not like Gandhi? I just do what I do quietly and then they will all just find their way into a theater and see it. No. Self-promotion is a big part of the job description. That's why I say you honor me with these questions that you might ask to a Desmond Tutu or somebody like that or some of the other august persons you've had because we're artists. We're making it up and we're not balanced people and most of us are incredibly self-involved, self-absorbed. Literally, that is the fuel that we burn.
BOND: But people come.
JONES: People do come.
BOND: And it isn't all development.
JONES: It's isn't all self-promotion, you mean? Or audience development?