Explorations in Black Leadership

Co-Directed by Phyllis Leffler & Julian Bond

Fostering Future Leadership

BOND: Now, what do we do in the future to foster leadership? Is there some way we can ready people so that when these crises or new challenges arise, they're ready?


RASPBERRY: I think a lot of people have been struggling with this question of whether it is possible to sort of hothouse generic leaders. South Africa has a program going right now supported by a foundation where they're trying to take likely young Africans and sort of teach them the skills of leadership. The jury's out on that one. I think we can recognize fledging leadership when it raises its head. There're people who will just sort of be interested in making good things happen, and we can support them by listening and if they seem amenable to it, we can help them with resources of various sorts and the very fact that leaders, that fledging leaders, get the support of important people can encourage more leaders to step forward.


I don't know whether one can artificially breed a hothouse full of leaders or not. It seems to me that circumstances help to make this happen. There're some people who will step up for one thing and not another, but it's the stepping up that we need to learn how to see, to honor, and to support with our gratitude and with our resources. People who step up in times of crisis are unbelievably valuable to every group and culture on the face of the earth and I think how we treat those who do step up will determine the quality of those who subsequently step up.


BOND: William Raspberry, thank you so much for being with us.


RASPBERRY: It's a joy.


BOND: We appreciate it. No, no, it's our pleasure. Thank you.


RASPBERRY: Thank you.