Street Knowledge

Black Leadership

February 4, 1996

The guests were:

Sister Soulijah (activist/rapper)
She said that if you speak out for black self-interest you're considered a racist and your views are dismissed. Soulijah said that black women need to recognize their power, rely on themselves to lead their way; black men need to have a relationship with their spiritual creatoir and be ruled by their own mind, thoughts, and actions. She said that people need to sit down with their friends and form a business plan and ideas and stand up politically for what they deserve in return for paying taxes. Soulijah closed by saying, "Do something righteous, be respected, be black, be powerful, be have to be in it to win it. You got to do something."

Shannon Reeves (executive director of Oakland NAACP)
He said that it's leaders responsibility to lead and prepare someone to take their place, because no one is prepared to take the place of the Black leadership of King/ Malcolm X era. Reeves said, "There's ...a trade deficit between corporate and black America...we put out...but don't demand return. We own about 28% of the Cadillacs in this country, but don't demand 28% of the jobs from General Motors." Reeves closed by saying that black people have reason to be frustrated, but need to stop making excuses and get involved.

Willie Brown (mayor of San Francisco)
He said that people of caller aren't hired as shot-callers but that will change under him. brown said that he intends to have Youth Monitors on the Muni, providing peer influence and easy identification of lawbreakers. Brown closed by saying that to gain leadership, you must attain the highest level of education you possibly can, and be active in every community-based organization that has a focus on trying to remove injustice and bars based on color.

Elihu Harris (mayor of Oakland)
He said that he sees a pervading negative nationalism; people have to work together and support the mayor. Harris said that if people have negative attitudes, they'll drive people out of the city. He said that Oakland has a Youth Commission and a citywide youth policy, and needs to look at restructuring education completely. Harris closed by saying that the way to attain leadership is to read, talk to people, ask questions, and get involved in change and your education. "You can't change the game if you're no playing in it."

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