Explorations in Black Leadership

Co-Directed by Phyllis Leffler & Julian Bond

Obligation to Lift Up Others

BOND: Well, just the next question I’m going to ask — do you think black leaders have an obligation to help black people? Is there a point — if you do think so, is there a point where that obligation ends and you can pursue your own ambitions? Do you have a —

MOORE: Well, you know, I can tell you that I think a lot of people in this world suffer because folk advance themselves and then pull the ladder up behind themselves. When I look at every successful group, there are people who reach back and help their own folk. In my own community, we have benevolent organizations who are Polish and during Katrina, they rushed down there and helped Polish folk out of that catastrophe. I feel it’s extremely important, as W. E. B. Du Bois might’ve said, for the talented tenth of us to remember the least of those in our race. And if we lift up poor black people, you’ll be surprised how many of the people we will bring along as well.