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Albert W. Dent interview, Part 3
Dent, Albert W.
Rogers, Kim Lacy
Dent and Rogers his discuss his involvemeent in Civil rights and his views on various subjects. He talks about his role in activism and what he wanted to accomplish towards desgregation.
Albert Dent continues to discuss Civil rights-era New Orleans, including efforts to create economic opportunities for African Americans. Rogers asks Dent about the involvement of major Civil rights organizations as well as the shift toward Black Power. Dent answers by describing a speech he gave advocating support of students involved in Civil rights demonstrations but not in a capacity representing the university. He also stated that students were not excused from classes or assignments for such participation. Dent claims that while he never marched in the streets, he had personal and professional phone numbers for members of the FBI, the chief of police, and the mayor, and that he received a phone call most mornings at 7:30 in the morning from city officials to maintain constant awareness of activism and anticipated official responses to the same. Dent's discussion of segregated New Orleans social life centers on Mardi Gras, which he describes as exceptionally segregated without any African American members. When Rogers asks Dent about the most influential Black leaders, he answers that much of his activism "u2013 such as with the Boy Scouts of America and work to desegregate police forces in New Orleans "u2013 occurred quietly and he did not discuss those efforts. He asserts that there are doubtless several others, and that the most influential leaders tend to do their work quietly. Dent quotes James Weldon Johnson to articulate his view of the ideal leader: "A leader is a man of whom people one day say, "u2018This man thinks well; let's follow him.'" Dent continues that "the most ineffective leaders are people who set themselves up as leaders." He concludes the interview by discussing the origins of the Urban League in New Orleans.
New Orleans (La.)
Amistad Research Center
Box 4, Item 11, Side 1, Kim Lacy Rogers collection, Amistad Research Center at Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana
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