Explorations in Black Leadership

Co-Directed by Phyllis Leffler & Julian Bond

Possibility of Transcending Race as Artist

BOND: Is there such a thing as a race-transcending leader, someone who transcends race?

JONES: I translate this into music, into theater, into, I'm sorry, theater dance charms. Yes, of course, there are. There are — Well, what was Michael Jackson? A troubling personality but a genius and I think Michael Jackson, he had a solid sense of himself as an African American but he saw himself in a class with people who were these — how do people say it, strange hothouse plants, like Elizabeth Taylor, like name your biggest stars. He saw himself as one of them. There was a whole other sphere that he belonged to which in a way helped him be able to be a beacon, a certain type of creativity, and integration for many, many people, so, yes, he did. Odd choice isn't it, because his life was so painful and weird, but that's okay. That's what goes into being a leader, I think.