Q: How did Bunche handle
being a so-called "model Negro"? Can you speak
about the tension between his status as an icon and his reality
as an individual?
A: There is a tension between what
Ralph Bunche sought to accomplish and what became his myth.
And it is not a tension particular to him, it's a tension that
any person who becomes, who is created into an icon must face,
although it's especially acute, I think, in Ralph Bunche's case.
Ralph Bunche sought to use his fame, his symbolic stature, to
achieve certain ends.