Explorations in Black Leadership

Co-Directed by Phyllis Leffler & Julian Bond

Economics of Race

BOND: You have said that when you're growing up in Memphis, before you moved to the suburbs, that you didn't know you were struggling, that you didn't know you were poor. Can you talk about that?

HALL: I think mostly because you don't have anything to compare it to.

BOND: No other standard.

HALL: You have no other standard. You don't know why you're eating bologna instead of steak. You're just eating bologna, and it's good, especially when it's fried and popped in the middle on white bread, Wonder Bread, you know, it's wonderful. But then, when you have something to compare it to, and you're going into the other white kids' homes and you're seeing what they have, you're like, "Oh, that's the difference. Huh. Oh, you guys have TVs in every room? You guys have five bedrooms? Wow. Okay." And you don't necessarily correlate it with you being black, you just—that's the moment where you realize there is a difference and it takes the lifetime lived after that point to figure out what the difference is.