Explorations in Black Leadership

Co-Directed by Phyllis Leffler & Julian Bond

Racial Identity

LEFFLER: So in 1957 you graduate from the George School and you go down to Atlanta with your family and your father becomes dean of Atlanta University. Was it that same year that you started at Morehouse?

BOND: Yes. It was that same fall. We moved in the summertime, and in the fall of '57 I entered Morehouse. Frankly I was a little frightened about going back South. We had left the South when I was five. My home, like other homes, got the Pittsburgh Courier, The Baltimore Afro-American, the black papers of the time, and these papers are filled with these atrocities from the South -- lynchings, murders, awful things. Of course, if you don't pay a lot of attention you think these are common, everyday occurrences and they're not that common and they're not that everyday but you think they are and you think "It's gonna happen to me." I remember my mother wanted me to buy a suit to go to college with. I remember saying, "Mamma, you go. They won't hurt you. They won't hurt a woman.” But you know I'm at risk so I wouldn't go. But I went to Morehouse and settled in very quickly. It was a different experience for me. I had never been to an all-black school until I entered college. All of my edu -- when I was in Fort Valley, it was an all-black school, but from the time I was five until I entered college I'd never gone to an all-black institution.