Julian Bond

Julian Bond34 posts

Julian Bond gained national recognition as a civil rights activist, longtime board chairman of the NAACP and co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

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22 Aug, 2015

Charlottesville tribute


Friends, University of Virginia faculty and community members gather and place flowers in the water to remember Bond. Similar events are held across the country with attendees releasing flowers into bodies of water at 3 p.m., the same time Bond’s family released his ashes into the Gulf of Mexico.

His impact on the University of Virginia and the Charlottesville community is truly immeasurable…He lived a beautiful life that was full of courage, optimism, hope and strength, and taught all of us how we could do the same…I think he’s another person who, even at 75, was gone too soon. You want someone who gives that much to go on for many, many more years.


Ashes to be spread in Gulf

Makes Statement

Bond’s family says he will be buried at sea, and invite the public to share in the ceremony.

We are honoring his wishes that his body be cremated and his ashes be committed to the Gulf of Mexico. This will be a private, family only service. The final request will be carried out at sea on Saturday, Aug. 22, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. CDT…We invite you to gather at a body of water near your home and precisely at 2:00 p.m., CDT, spread flower petals on the water and join us in bidding farewell to Julian Bond. This gesture will mean a great deal to us as a family and also provide some comfort in knowing that you share our loss.


Georgia flies flags at half-staff


Georgia Gov. Deal orders flags to fly half-staff to honor late civil rights leader Bond on same day his family scatters his ashes.

16 Aug, 2015

‘Recognized the common humanity in us all’


The Southern Policy Law Center says Bond was a “visionary” and “tireless champion” for civil and human rights.

With Julian’s passing, the country has lost one of its most passionate and eloquent voices for the cause of justice. He advocated not just for African Americans, but for every group, indeed every person subject to oppression and discrimination, because he recognized the common humanity in us all.


‘A warrior of good’


Griffin, the President of the Human Rights Campaign says of Bond:

Very few throughout human history have embodied the ideals of honor, dignity, courage and friendship like Dr. Julian Bond. Quite simply, this nation and this world are far better because of his life and commitment to justice and equality for all people. Future generations will look back on the life and legacy of Julian Bond and see a warrior of good who helped conquer hate in the name of love. I will greatly miss my friend and my hero, Dr. Julian Bond.


‘Justice and equality spanned his life’


President Obama says of Bond:

Justice and equality was the mission that spanned his life — from his leadership of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, to his founding role with the Southern Poverty Law Center, to his pioneering service in the Georgia legislature and his steady hand at the helm of the NAACP. Julian Bond helped change this country for the better. And what better way to be remembered than that.

15 Aug, 2015

Julian Bond dies age 75


Bond dies in Fort Walton Beach, FL. His wife says the cause was complications of vascular disease. Wife:

[He] never took his eyes off the prize and that was always racial equality…He had a wonderful sense of humor. You know, that got him through the serious things he dealt with all his life. He used to joke that on his tombstone, one side would say ‘Race man’ and the other side would say, ‘Easily amused.’

14 Jan, 2014

Affirms MLK legacy

Gives Talk

Bond speaks at a luncheon for Southern Christian Leadership Conference luncheon on his 74th birthday, on the theme of the MLK Day celebration, “The Legacy Continues.”

It has been only a short 50 years since legal segregation was ended nationwide…Paradoxically. Barack Obama’s victory convinced many that all racial barriers and restrictions had been vanquished and we had entered racial nirvana across the land…The greatest impediment to achieving racial equality is the narcotic belief that we already have. For most of my adult life, I have been engaged in what once was called race work — fighting to make justice and fairness a reality for everyone,” said Bond, who in 1960 helped organize lunch counter sit-ins, voter registration rallies and the freedom rides that forced federal transportation integration laws.The racial picture in America has improved remarkably in my lifetime. Forward in the struggle. Inspired by the achievements of the past, sustained by a faith that knows no faltering, forward in the struggle.

13 Feb, 2013



Bond protests the proposed Keystone XL pipeline,  joining 48 activists at the gates of the White House. D.C. police arrest Bond and the other protesters. Some of the activists tied themselves to the gates with plastic handcuffs; others sit and refused to budge despite officers’ repeated requests. Bond says civil disobedience was again needed.

When you find that ordinary methods of persuasion are not working, you turn to other methods, and this is peaceful, nonthreatening and has been successful in the past, and there is no reason to believe it won’t be successful here. This is not a pipeline to America. It’s a pipeline through America, and it threatens to be a disaster for us if it leaks poisons on the way.

26 Sep, 2008

Living Legend award

Other Awards

The Library of Congress honors Bond as a Living Legend, an award that honors artists, writers, activists, filmmakers, physicians, entertainers, sports figures and public servants who have made significant contributions to America’s cultural, scientific and social heritage.

I felt flattered and honored and especially pleased to be in the company of the other awardees. By lucky coincidence, I was able to lead a chorus of Happy Birthday to fellow honoree Herbie Hancock.

28 Oct, 2004

IRS reviews tax-exempt status

Opens investigation

The Internal Revenue Service reviews the tax-exempt status of the NAACP, citing concerns over a speech given by Chairman Bond at its annual convention in Philadelphia. The IRS tells the association it has received information that Bond conveyed “statements in opposition of George W. Bush for the office of presidency” and specifically that he had “condemned the administration policies of George W. Bush in education, the economy and the war in Iraq. Bond defends his remarks:

This is an attempt to silence the NAACP on the very eve of a presidential election. We are best known for registering and turning out large numbers of African-American voters. Clearly, someone in the I.R.S. doesn’t want that to happen. It’s Orwellian to believe that criticism of the president is not allowed or that the president is somehow immune from criticism.

Jun 2004

Speaks at Take Back America

Gives Talk

Bond speaks at Take Back America conference with the two founders of MoveOn.org. Bond imagines what SNCC organizing might have been like with the online networking, actions and fundraising. He discusses how the work of the civil rights and anti-war movement had to be expanded to fight for the rights of women, families, LGBT people, and the rights of workers around the world.


Donates papers


Bond donates correspondence to the Auburn Avenue Research Library in Atlanta. The collection covers the period from 1969 to 1996 and contains correspondence, organizational and institutional material related to the Voter Education Project, Political Associates, and The Southern Elections Fund, includes speeches, political ephemera, articles, poetry and a book written by Bond, as well as items relating to African American political life.


Becomes U. Virginia professor


Bond joins the faculty of University of Virginia. Over 20 years he teaches more than 5,000 students about the Civil Rights Movement in the larger context of American history. He also leads numerous U.Va.-sponsored Civil Rights South Tours, giving his firsthand knowledge of the Civil Rights Movement.


Becomes AU adjunct professor


Bond becomes distinguished adjunct professor of government at American University’s School of Public Affairs. He teaches more than 500 students in an honors course focusing on the oral history of the civil rights movement, and an advanced study of the politics of civil rights.

After teaching at many fine schools, the students I am closest to are those I met and taught at SPA. We have developed lasting and continuing relationships.




Bond is arrested outside the South African Embassy in Washington D.C. for protesting apartheid.


Founds SPLC


Bond helps found the Southern Poverty Law Center, a public-interest law firm based in Montgomery, Alabama, and serves as its president for eight years and as an emeritus board member until his death.


Rules to seat Bond


The United States Supreme Court rules 9–0 in the case of Bond v. Floyd (385 U.S. 116) that the Georgia House of Representatives had denied Bond his freedom of speech and was required to seat him. He serves four terms in the Georgia House, where he organizes the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus.


Sues Georgia legislature

Files Suit

On three occasions, the white leaders of the Georgia legislature prevent Bond from taking his seat. The legislature claims it has the right to determine the qualifications of its members. Bond files suit, saying:

If they bar me again, I’ll sue them again.


Takes MLK social philosophy course

Attends College

Bond takes a social philosophy class at Morehouse College taught by King, one year before the civil rights leader would give his “I Have a Dream” speech in the nation’s capital.

A lot of people will tell you they are a student of Martin Luther King Jr. But Martin Luther King Jr. only taught one class in his lifetime. There were only eight students in that class. I was one of the eight.


Becomes SNCC communications director


Julian Bond as communications directorBond becomes communications director of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, a position he holds for five years. Its mission is to unite students in non-violent protest against segregation and other racist occurrences. He skillfully guides the national news media toward stories of violence and discrimination as the committee challenges legal segregation in the South’s public facilities during a time when mainstream media ignores what is happening to Blacks. He travels around Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas to help organize civil rights and voter registration drives.


Attends Quaker School

Bond attends the private Quaker-run George School near Philadelphia. He encounters racial resentment when he begins dating a white girl, incurring the disapproval of white students and the school authorities.

14 Jan, 1940

Julian Bond born in Nashville, TN


Bond is born at Hubbard Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee. He is the son of Horace and Julia Bond. Julia is a former librarian at Clark Atlanta University. The family resides on campus at Fort Valley State College, where Horace is president. The Bond’s house is a frequent stop for scholars and activists and celebrities passing by. He has two siblings, James and Jane Margaret.

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