Explorations in Black Leadership

Co-Directed by Phyllis Leffler & Julian Bond

Voice of a southern playwright

BOND: Now in talking about the work that you do, the plays that you write, people have said you have a unique voice. Where does this voice come from? I'm just imaging you say, well it comes from me because I'm unique, but how did it come out of you? What is it about you?

HALL: That voice is very particular to southern African Americans. I'm very proud of being from the South, I'm extremely proud of being from Memphis, even though they lost the game the other night, it's so sad. [laugh]

BOND: Next year.

HALL: Next year, right? Final Four. That voice comes from listening. Listening to my mother talk about that day when Martin Luther King was assassinated. It comes from listening to my father rail on and on about what was done to him at work. It comes from listening to my mother be infuriated by the fact that her union, you know, she can't get something passed through her union. It comes from being at my grandmother's feet and listening to her tales of growing up in Louisiana and being a part of sharecropping family. That's where that voice comes from. Being very respectful to the voices that have come before me and the voices that are my family. That's what I would say is authentic about it because it's just coming from a person who is just existing as a reservoir for other people to dump their stories in and to let those things pour out in my work.