- "I am a hopeless optimist; I always believe things will work out." — Julian Bond
- Part 1: What Julian Bond Taught Me
- Part 2: We've Lost A Champion
Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest
Part 1: What Julian Bond Taught Me
Freedom movements don’t just happen, they are made—and not by charismatic leaders, but by everyday people possessing great courage.
Jeanne Theoharis, the Nation
August 17, 2015 | His lecture on the Montgomery bus boycott spanned three class periods. Professor Julian Bond traced the origins and development of the boycott, in the hours and days after Rosa Parks’ arrest. Character by character, he detailed the various people who came together to turn Parks’ bus stand into a movement in Montgomery and how they sustained that effort for 382 days.
On Saturday night, August 15, Julian Bond died after a brief illness. The 75-year-old civil rights leader had been a founding member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), whose courageous direct action changed the systems of racial inequality in voting, jobs, schools, and public services in the South. Elected to the Georgia state legislature in 1965 , Bond was then denied his seat because of his opposition to the Vietnam War, fought and won it back twice, and served for twenty years, first in the House and then in the Senate. Continuing his commitment to social justice, he served as the first president of the Southern Poverty Law Center and as chairman of the NAACP. And for the past 25 years, he had also been a professor at Williams College, Drexel University, the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University, American University, and the University of Virginia.
Jeanne Theoharis, Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the City University of New York’s Brooklyn College, is the author of the award-winning The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks.
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Part 2: We've Lost A Champion
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.
Morris Dees, Southern Poverty Law Center
Julian Bond, pictured here at 26, watches as people stream into the St. Mark's Church-on-the-Bouwerie to hear him speak at the end of a peace rally and march in 1966. (AP Photo/Marty Lederhandler)
August 16, 2015 | It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of legendary civil rights activist Julian Bond, SPLC's first president. He was 75 years old and died last evening, August 15, in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.
From his days as the co-founder and communications director of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in the 1960s to his chairmanship of the NAACP in the 21st century, Julian was a visionary and tireless champion for civil and human rights. He served as the SPLC's president from our founding in 1971 to 1979, and later as a member of its board of directors.
Morris Dees is Founder, Chief Trial Attorney of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
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