May 1, 2008 — Vol. 43, No. 38
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Do you think today’s black leaders are
as effective as those in the past?

[Today’s black leaders] don’t have the charisma or heart. They were more meaningful back then. Paula
The leaders of yesterday were more loving and caring people. Today, leaders are all about themselves, not about the people. Genevor Monell
Preschool Teacher
The last time we actually had leaders, they were Malcolm [X] and Martin [Luther King Jr.], and even with them, [it was] the last years of their lives. Since then, on the local level, we have had many admirable leaders such as Mel King in Boston. But on the national level, we have nothing but Judas, goats, charlatans and pimps.
Cheo Ja Solder
What leaders? People need to put their lives, opinions and professions on the line and have a true sense of commitment. Today it’s all politics, i.e. compromise. You have to stay true to your beliefs.
Patricia Blakeney
Software Engineer/Literacy Volunteer
The thought process for the leader of yesterday was a little more forthcoming. They were compassionate, honest and had a [sense] of responsibility and accountability. Today, we have some up-and-coming leaders that need to be groomed from those that walked the path. They don’t have to duplicate, they need to be creative enough to move people forward. Not about self — it’s about the big picture: Build community. Ernestine Washington
I frankly don’t want to have to be identified with having a “leader.” It’s like we have to have a “translator.” [The popularly recognized leaders] were great, but I look at leaders like the sister who washed floors but sent her child to college, or raised her son to be a real man. Michelle Green

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