Julian Bond

Julian Bond

Julian Bond has been one of the most influential leaders of the Civil Rights Movement in the US. As a social activist, Bond helped to create the Social Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). In 1998 he was selected as the chairman of NAACP in recognition of his achievements.

Born on 14 January 1940, Julian Bond grew up in a middle class home. His father was President of Lincoln University and he moved his family to Pennsylvania. Bond attended the private Quaker George School, before enrolling at Morehouse College in Atlanta. Here he was taught by Dr. Martin Luther King.

From the age of 20, Bond threw himself into the Civil Rights Movement. He helped co-found SNCC in 1960 and served as its communications director from 1961 to 1966. He led demonstrations against segregated public facilities in Georgia. However, Bond’s involvement in SNCC had led to his departure from Morehouse in 1961. In 1971 he went back to college and gained an English degree in English.

Bond was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1965. White members of the House refused to seat him because of his opposition to the Vietnam War. In 1966, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the House had denied Bond his freedom of speech and had to seat him.

In 1968, Bond gained national attention when he attended the Democratic National Convention in Chicago as a Georgia Democrat. He was the first African American to be named a potential Vice-Presidential running mate.

In 1971, Bond was one of the founders of the Southern Poverty Law Centre (SPLC), a civil rights law firm. The SPLC gave legal advice and defended African Americans. This free egal advice offered poor African-Americans living in the South the opportunity to defend themselves.

Bond stepped down from Georgia’s House of Representatives in 1975 and was elected to the state’s Senate.

In 1998, Bond was appointed chairman of NAACP and retired in 2010 at the age of 70.

Bond still believes that NAACP is playing an important part in the race relations in the US, even with an African American President.

Bond is still campaigning for American civil rights, lecturing on the history of civil rights and supporting same-sex marriages and gay rights. The latter has caused unrest within the SCLC.

In a 2005 speech in Richmond, VA, Bond stated:

“African Americans ... were the only Americans who were enslaved for two centuries, but we were far from the only Americans suffering discrimination then and now.... Sexual disposition parallels race. I was born this way. I have no choice. I wouldn’t change it if I could. Sexuality is unchangeable.”

Bond was awarded the prestigious National Freedom Award in 2002 for his work in civil rights.

See also: Civil Rights Quotes

MLA Citation/Reference

"Julian Bond". HistoryLearning.com. 2023. Web.

Key facts

Name: Julian Bond
Birth Date: 14 January 1940,
Occupation: Past president of SPLC and NAACP, co-founder of SNCC