Julian Bond Discusses Black Leadership Project

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (NEWSPLEX) -- Civil rights leader and former University of Virginia history professor Julian Bond spoke at UVa's Miller Center Wednesday about a new project on black leaders.

The project is a book and website that Bond and his fellow UVa professor Phyllis Leffler have been working on for more than a decade. The pair spoke with 51 African American men and women, who are considered leaders, about their experiences.

Leffler and Bond interviewed leadership figures ranging from pastors, educators and members of congress, to artists, journalists, and entrepreneurs on what helped them become the leaders they are today. Leffler characterized many of those leaders as courageous individuals who fought hard for what they wanted, and uplifted others.

Bond and Leffler say they had planned to put the interviews only online, but felt a book could help weave the stories together, and share the leaders' lessons. Bond says the project is helpful for the next generation looking to become trailblazers and innovators.

"I think it says if you want to be a leadership figure, read what these people had to say about their climb up the leadership ladder, and you'll learn some important things. These lessons may not be things you can emulate yourself, but they'll be helpful to you," said Bond.

Leffler said she and Bond initially chose to create website because they felt it was the most effective way to share an archive of information with public to use and learn from. With the book and website, readers can go from the text back to the videos to watch the interviews.

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