Newark Mayor: New Black Leaders Must Innovate
Morning Edition, August 8, 2006 Although he could afford more, Cory Booker, an Oxford and Yale-educated lawyer, chose to live in one of Newark's downtrodden neighborhoods. Booker, the recently elected mayor of Newark, N.J., lives in a public housing project with no hot water and no heat in the winter.
"It's a little challenging living," Booker tells Steve Inskeep. "But for me what is an inconvenience, to a lot of residents that live there it's [an] issue of life and death."
Booker notes that while the black middle-class has grown since the 1960s, African-Americans living in poverty haven't seen much improvement in their lives.
Some people put great stock in the Black Leaders of America (note the capital letters). The ones who are on television all the time, boycotting this or that, making this or that statement, the ones who get to give the Black Perspective on the talking head news programs. I can take 'em or leave 'em. In my mind the most important black leaders in America are the men who sit at the head of the dinner table and the women who sit at their right hands.