Explorations in Black Leadership

Co-Directed by Phyllis Leffler & Julian Bond

Forming Racial Consciousness

BOND: Go back for a minute to Franklin. How did your race consciousness become formed there?

RUSH: I think primarily through the television. I mean, I saw you guys, I saw Doc, so —

BOND: So it was the age, not the school?

RUSH: It was the age for the most part. I mean, you never saw black people marching and fighting for their rights and standing up against the power forces and that stuff kind of, you know, mesmerized me, man, when I saw all that was going on, and so I just got kind of caught up in the times and it created — I remember, you know, having this very serious, energetic, intense argument with a friend of mine, because I was defending Dr. King and he was saying how the leader of the blacks shouldn't be doing this kind of stuff and we were both kind of fairly young and we were playing basketball in the back yard, man, but we put that basketball down and started discussing things, and we didn't get into fisticuffs or anything like, but I never will forget — his name was Winston and it turned out that he was — ultimately, he became a real nationalist. But the fact is that I remember that intense battle because at that time whatever was inside came out and I knew profoundly that I was an advocate for black people at that point in time.