Explorations in Black Leadership

Co-Directed by Phyllis Leffler & Julian Bond

Future Leadership

LEFFLER: What are those issues of today that will throw up leaders?

BOND: Well, take the administration's domestic prosecution of the war on terrorism, the imprisonment of these many, many people without charges. Already there's a body of people who've sprung up both old and new. Old like the ACLU, who traditionally worry about these issues and new, like new people who are just outraged by this. Movements are thrown up. Or take the campaign against sweatshops. The manufacturer of university shop clothing like UVA t-shirts. I don't know if that's the case here. But students who previously have not been engaged at all in anything all of a sudden become engaged in this. This strikes them for one reason or another -- we don't know why -- are outraged by this and they rally together. They form a group or they create a new group or they join an existing group. They take some action. So something commands people to these things sometime too.

LEFFLER: But they're really -- I mean there are these very important issues, I don't doubt that. But there is really--is there anything of the magnitude out there?

BOND: I think there is but I don't think most people do. I think race is just as big an issue now as then. It's certainly been ameliorated a great deal from then to now. This is a very different and better world now than it was when I was a college student. And I can't understand why more people aren't grabbed by this, aren't seized by this, aren't compelled by this. It compels me. I've got to do something about it and have found a way to do something about it and it's not the same thing everybody does. Other people do it their own way. But I'm compelled. I have to do this.