Explorations in Black Leadership

Co-Directed by Phyllis Leffler & Julian Bond

Career Development: Meeting Arnie Zane

JONES: I joined the Dance Collective, an avant-garde Dance Collective that said you can make up your own style of movement. You don't have to have your leg in the air. It's about your ideas. It's about something mastering space like an official artist does and I just sort of went that way. Was there defiance in it? I think there was and my companion was one of those precious I call them magical creatures, a bonafide alienated person. Alienated. He was Jewish, Italian, a small man, and he was gay.

BOND: And you're talking about Arnie Zane?

JONES: This is Arnie Zane.

BOND: And he's not a dancer?

JONES: He was not. He had taken his degree and he did have a degree in art history and biology. I think he had finished school in two years. He'd done all the requisite courses. Really bright guy, but he —

BOND: He's a photographer, really?

JONES: At that time, he was flirting with it. He met me and, first of all, he wanted to be in love. That was most important and he wanted a partner that he could be passionate about and I became that partner. And then what are we going to do? Life was a great adventure. Well, let's try a little photography. Let's try a little dance. Let's travel to Europe. Let's do this. Well, I'm 19 and he's 21. What are we doing? But he gave me a passport and I don't know if a lot of young African American people had in traveling with a young white man like that. "Oh, let's take a trip to Europe." "Well, yeah, let's take a trip to Europe." I don't know if I would've done that without him.

And I'm sort of — This is what I do. You have to rein me now. The discourse now is becoming a little unfocused.