Explorations in Black Leadership

Co-Directed by Phyllis Leffler & Julian Bond

Creating new leaders

BOND: Now, Clayborne Carson in his book on SNCC attributes this statement to you: "if you go out and work with your people, then the leadership will emerge." Can you elaborate on that?

MOSES: Yes. I'm thinking that that's from Ella [Baker] and Amzie [Moore], in some sense, so I'm watching the kids that I worked with, 7th and 8th graders in the ‘90s, in the early '80s, rather, they hit their 20s in the early '90s, and I was working in Cambridge with them when they were middle school kids and now I'm working with middle school kids in Brinkley Middle School in Jackson and they come down in the summer of '95 and some of them stay on for the school year of '95-'96, so basically every time I see them, I'm thinking, well, the young kids have to get their act together, you guys have to get your act together, so I'm working with them and they're working with the middle school kids and it takes a year but they actually get their act together and decide that they're going to form something and they didn't tell me that they were deciding and then they just came and said, well, we've formed The Young People's Project. But it's actually in that work. And what was really important was that they formed the project around the idea of certain kind of work that they were going to do, not certain kinds of people who were going to be leaders with certain kinds of titles and so that idea of forming a path or a strategy around the actual work and figuring out how the work itself helps structure the organization of the work.