Explorations in Black Leadership

Co-Directed by Phyllis Leffler & Julian Bond

Challenges of 21st Century

BOND: In his book Race Matters, Cornel West writes, "the crisis of leadership is a symptom of black distance from a vibrant tradition of resistance, from a vital community bonded by ethical ideals and from a credible sense of political struggle." Do you see a crisis of leadership in black communities today and if you do, what makes this happen?

WILLIAMS: I don't know if I would say there's a crisis of leadership. I think there could be an absence of great leaders. I think that it's hard to be a leader in the world we live in today. It's a very complicated world more than ever before. You have to deal with the 24/7 news cycle. Everything you do is analyzed and dissected before it can even move forward in terms of carrying out an action plan. I think it makes it very very complicated to be a leader these days. I think that we have the opportunity to take on the challenges in America. I think there's a need to reinvest in our schools, in our communities. I think the president is trying to do that through his administration. I just think that we have opportunities but it's going to be a long, hard battle.