Julian Bond

Civil Rights Then and Now

Mr. Bond's lecture provided the history of failures and successes as America continues to be challenged with issues of diversity and inclusion.  During an earlier afternoon session with students, Mr. Bond answered questions about his role in the Civil Rights Movement, politics, education, and the future of American civil liberties.

Chairman of the Board of the NAACP

From his college days as a founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) to his role as former Chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Julian Bond has been an active participant in the movements for civil rights, economic justice and peace, and an aggressive spokesman for the disinherited.

As an activist who has faced jail for his convictions, as a veteran of more than twenty years of service in the Georgia General Assembly, as a writer, teacher, and lecturer, Bond has been on the cutting edge of social change since he was a college student leading sit-in demonstrations in Atlanta in 1960.While a student at Morehouse College over forty years ago, he founded the Atlanta student sit-in and anti-segregation organization, and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). As SNCC's Communications Director, Bond was active in protests and registration campaigns throughout the South during one of this nation’s most difficult times.While still a student, Bond was a founder in l960 of the Committee on Appeal for Human Rights (COAHR), the Atlanta University Center student civil rights organization that directed three years of non-violent anti-segregation protests that won integration of Atlanta's movie theaters, lunch counters, and parks. Bond was arrested for sitting-in at the then-segregated cafeteria at Atlanta City Hall.Elected in 1965 to the Georgia House of Representatives, Bond was prevented from taking his seat by members who objected to his opposition to the Vietnam War. He was re-elected to his own vacant seat and un-seated again, and re-seated only after a third election and a unanimous decision of the United States Supreme Court.Bond ultimately served four terms in the House and six terms in the Senate.

In the Senate, Bond became the first Black Chair of the Fulton County Senate Delegation, the largest and most diverse in the upper house, and was Chairman of the Committee on Consumer Affairs and a member of the Committees on Human Resources, Governmental Operations, and Children and Youth.In 1968, Bond was Co-Chairman of the Georgia Loyal National Delegation to the Democratic Convention. The Loyalists, an insurgent group, were successful in unseating the handpicked regulars, and Bond was nominated for Vice-President of the United States, the first Black to be so honored by a major political party. He withdrew his name because he was too young to serve.

Bond was Chairman of the Premier Auto Group (PAG) (Volvo, Land Rover, Aston-Martin, Jaguar) Diversity Council and has served on the Advisory Boards of the American Civil Liberties Union, the Corporation for Maintaining Editorial Diversity in America, the Nicaragua/Honduras Education Project, the Earth Communications Office, the National Federation for Neighborhood Diversity, the Southern AfricaMedia Center, the Joan Shorenstein Barone Center of the John F. Kennedy School of Government, and the Center for Visionary Thought Advisory Team and on the Advisory Committees of the American Committee on Africa and the Human Rights Defense Fund.

Bond has served as commentator on America's Black Forum, the oldest black-owned show in television syndication and his poetry and articles have appeared in numerous publications. He has narrated numerous documentaries, including the Academy Award-winning A Time for Justice and the prize-winning and critically acclaimed series Eyes on the Prize. He has been a commentator on The Today Show and was author of a nationally syndicated newspaper column called “Viewpoint,” and was a commentator for radio's "Byline," syndicated to over 200 stations. Bond has appeared in three movies, including the Academy Award-winning Ray and as narrator of the Westinghouse series Rush Toward Freedom and the critically acclaimed PBS series, Eyes on the Prize.

He served as writer/narrator the NPR documentary "Crossing the Color Line: from Rhythm 'n Blues to Rock 'n Roll."The widely published author of many books of poetry, Bond is also author of A Time to Speak, A Time to Act, a collection of his essays as well as Black Candidates Southern Campaign Experiences.Serving from 1998 until 2010 as Chairman of the Board of the NAACP, the oldest and largest civil rights organization in the United States, Bond worked to educate the public about the history of the Civil Rights Movement and the struggles that African Americans and the poor still endure.In 2002, he received the prestigious National Freedom Award. He has also been named one of America's top 200 leaders by Time Magazine. In 2008, he was named a “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress.Bond's teaching experience includes being a Pappas Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania and a Visiting Professor at Drexel University, Harvard University, and Williams College. He is currently a Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the American University in Washington, DC, and a Professor at the University of Virginia in the Department of History, where he is co-director of Explorations in Black Leadership.

Event Information

Civil Rights Then and NowJulian Bond: A Conversation
  • March 3, 2011
  • 12:30 p.m.

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