2000: A Race Odyssey

Nov 20, 2000

JULIAN BOND, Chairman, NAACP

Julian Bond has been an active participant in the movements for civil rights, economic justice, and peace for more than three decades. As an activist who has faced jail for his convictions, as a veteran of more than 20 years service in the Georgia General Assembly, as a university professor, and as a writer who raises hard questions and proposes difficult solutions, he has been on the cutting edge of social change since 1960.

While a student at Morehouse College in 1960, he was a founder of the Atlanta student sit-in and anti-segregation organization and of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). As SNCC's Communications Director, Bond was active in protests and registration campaigns throughout the South.

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, un-seated a second time, and returned to his seat only after a third election and a unanimous decision of the United State Supreme Court which stated the Georgia House had violated his rights.

He was co-chair of a challenge delegation from Georgia to the 1968 Democratic Convention. The challengers were successful in unseating Georgia's regular Democrats, and Bond was nominated for Vice President, but had to decline because he was too young.

In the Georgia Senate, Bond became the first black chair of the Fulton County Delegation, the largest and most diverse in the upper house, and chair of the Consumer Affairs Committee. During his legislative tenure, he was sponsor or co-sponsor of more than 60 bills which became law.

He appears regularly on America's Black Forum, the oldest black-owned show in television syndication. He has authored a nationally distributed newspaper column. His poetry and articles have appeared in numerous publications. He hosted Saturday Night Live in 1977, and has been narrator of numerous documentaries, including the Academy Award winning "A Time for Justice" and the prize-winning and critically acclaimed series "Eyes on the Prize."

He is currently Chairman of the Board of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

The holder of nineteen honorary degrees, he is a Distinguished Professor at American University in Washington, DC, and a professor in history at the University of Virginia.