Interview with Emma Darnell

There was a lot of Black political success in Atlanta at that time. Is electing Black officials enough?


Ah, electing Black officials is not enough unless you elect Black officials who understand why they have been elected. The election of Black officials in Atlanta has clearly been of benefit to Black citizens in Atlanta. However, as the 1974 struggle for equality of opportunity in government and purchasing and the government demonstrated, unless Black leadership is willing to remain steadfast, unless Black leadership is willing to remain accountable, yes, to the ten percent of the White community that helped them get elected, but also to the 95 percent of the Black community without whom the ten percent would not have been enough, then it will not be enough. What really happens is as it has turned out during this period, I learned, and all of us in power learned, that being Black and, and being in power alone is nothing about the color. It's nothing about the genetics. It's nothing about the hair or the turban or the beads or the rhetoric. What it's about is what's on the inside, you know. Have you really been deeply and permanently affected by the blood that has been shed in order for you to sit behind the desk? Do you see Martin Luther King's grave as more than a White sepulcher with a quotation on it? Do you actually feel any sensitivity and responsibility to all of those folk out there in those churches and those programs who stand up and give you big applause, believing that you stayed on the case, or are you really in there trying to hold your ground, to get your house, get your car, get your BMW, get invited to the right receptions and be considered a leader?**


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