Explorations in Black Leadership

Co-Directed by Phyllis Leffler & Julian Bond

Young Leaders: Opportunities Abound

LEFFLER: Well, you know the subject of leadership at least as well as I do. Is there anything you would want to add to this discussion that we've had today?

BOND: One thing: it just strikes me from a conversation I had recently. The people said where are our leaders? Where are our leaders coming from? I think they're coming. If you ask me to name the leaders of tomorrow, I know a couple of students here who are bright young people. We're going to hear from them. But I think there are hundreds of thousands of such people scattered throughout the country and the world in fact who are going to -- we're going to hear from them. Some of them we'll never hear from, but they'll be leading in one way or the other in their communities or someplace else. But they're coming. They're out there. They'll be around. Leadership will not go away.

LEFFLER: So you're not worried about the leaders of the future?

BOND: No, no. I will tell you this. I'm suspicious of people who say "Let's pass the torch." I'm 62, and I'm beginning to hear people say "Well, time for him to pass the torch." I'm not passing the torch. I think if you want the torch you have to take the torch out of my stiff fingers and peel them away one by one. That's the way I got it. Nobody gave it to me. So if you want it, you have to come get it.

LEFFLER: Well, good for you, and on that note I say thank you very much for doing this today.