In Memoriam: Horace Julian Bond, 1940-2015

Julian_BondJulian Bond, a legendary civil rights leader, legislator, and longtime professor at the University of Virginia, died on August 15 in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. He was 75 years old.

Professor Bond was born in Nashville. At the age of 5, he moved with his family to Pennsylvania when his father was named president of what is now The Lincoln University.

After high school, Julian Bond enrolled at Morehouse College in Atlanta. There, he was a leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. In 1961, Bond dropped out of college to devote all of his energies to the civil rights movement. He later returned to Morehouse to earn his bachelor’s degree in 1971.

In 1965, Bond was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives and served for 20 years in the state legislature. In 1971, he was a co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama, and remained on the center’s board of directors until his death.

In 1998, Professor Bond was elected chair of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and continued in that role until 2010. He taught history at the University of Virginia for 20 years, retiring in 2012.

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  1. a great leader has passed, and believe it or not most young black and other minority people he fought for took advantage of the chance we were given. you never see the racist ones speak of the accomplishments that black men have made, example the black race went from slavery to the white house in about 150 years and all the black mayors and other government officials, students in top colleges, black business, they all got to where they are through skill and hard

  2. When growing up in Chicago in the 60’s besides MLK Julian Bond was a name that I knew and heard. He has always been an icon for justice in my life. His contributions will never be forgotten. Thank you Dr. Bond for giving a voice to the voiceless.

  3. I would like to apprise all the readers of this journal of a special forum titled: Engaging Race, to be held Thursday, August 27th at the Woodson Institute, 125 Minor Hall on the campus of the University of Virginia, The time for the above event is 4:30 PM. Public is welcome. The nearest parking lot is Newcomb Hall parking garage.
    Anchored by Khalil Muhammad, Executive Director of the Schomburg Center in Black Culture (of the New York Public Library), the forum titled “Engaging Race: On violence, Citizenship, and Social Justice”, is inspired by recent events in Charleston, South Carolina. But the Charleston massacre is but one catalyst for engaging a range of issues emerging in its wake. Among these, by no means new to this hour, are the under-reported escalation of Black church burnings over the last several weeks, the controversy surrounding the Confederate flag, and the unabated instances of police brutality against Black bodies committed with impunity.
    It bears remembering that Reverend and State Senator Clementa Pinckney, on those slain, championed legislation making South Carolina the first state to require all law enforcement agencies to use body cameras. Irony of ironies, the Governor of South Carolina signed the legislation into law on June 10th, exactly a week before Pinckney and his parishioners were murdered in cold blood.
    Joining Khalil Muhammad will be Heather Thompson (Professor of History, University of Michigan), Childs( Professor of Literature, University of California, San Diego), Anthea Butler (Profssor of Religious Studies, University of Pennsylvania), James Peterson (Professor of Africana Studies, Lehigh University). If you are traveling in the area of UVA, you might elect to attend this very important event.
    For well over twenty years, Julian Bond taught and inspired thousands of University of Virginia students who took his course titled: The Modern Day Civil Rights Movement.
    Mr. Bond is remembered for his fierce, dedicated relentless service to SNCC, the Civil Rights Movement and his staunch opposition to the Vietnam War. Professor Bond was one of the principal founders of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Mr. Bond while at the helm of the NAACP, was instrumental in resurrecting the NAACP as a viable Civil Rights organization which in my opinion was moribund until he took over as Chairman.
    I had the pleasure of meeting Julian Bond at a National Conference on Race sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work and Race Center in 2010. I had the privilege of sitting with Julian Bond and the oldest Black Olympian medal winner in the United States, Herb Douglas Jr, during the reception for the conference. I informed Julian Bond that two of my family members had taken his course on The History of the Modern Day Civil Rights Movement at Virginia, and that they did an enormous amount of research in his class for which they both earned an A grade. Mr. Bond replied to “earn an A in his class, they had to be quite exceptional students.” He was most appreciative of my comments.
    What my family members remembered most about Mr. Bond classes is he always encouraged them to remain steadfast in their actions towards justice and equality by holding themselves individually accountable for progress.

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