Explorations in Black Leadership

Co-Directed by Phyllis Leffler & Julian Bond

Formative Experiences: Dealing with Change

BOND: Because the AME Church like the Methodist Church moves its ministers on regular intervals, you are, as you said, making new friends over and over and over again. How’d you feel about this?

IFILL: Oh, I hated it at the time. I thought it was terrible, especially when I was uprooted in high school and when I thought I was going to be a member of, you know, the band or whatever I was aspiring to. It wasn’t great for one’s social life growing up. But looking back on it now, I realize what it did was it put me in new situations all the time where I had to start from scratch, where I had to make myself known and liked and where I got to learn brand new things every time. As a result, now I’m in a profession where I’m often thrust into new situations with new people, where I wake up in the morning and there’s a coup in Macedonia and I have to know about Macedonia by six o'clock that night and I have the capability of pulling all of that in. And that's — and part of that is being thrust into new situations over and over again and making new friends.