Julian Bond, 1940-2015
August 16, 2015 4:18 AM   Subscribe

"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." Goodbye to Horace Julian Bond, freedom fighter and lifetime champion of civil rights.

Bond cofounded the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Community, served as the president of the Southern Poverty Law Center at its founding, and led the NAACP for a decade. "Bond was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1965, but his white colleagues in the House refused to let him take his seat because of his opposition to the Vietnam war. A year later, the Supreme Court accused the legislature of violating his freedom of speech, and ordered it to seat him." Bond went on to serve for 20 years. He was a public opponent of the Vietnam War and a public supporter of the fights for women's rights and gay rights. He taught a generation of college students the history of the civil rights movement, including at American University, Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Virginia.

SPLC Statement from Morris Dees.
New York Times.
Washington Post.
posted by sallybrown (92 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite

 
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posted by TwoStride at 4:30 AM on August 16, 2015


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posted by hydropsyche at 4:37 AM on August 16, 2015


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posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:37 AM on August 16, 2015


We need these veterans of the civil rights movement now more than ever, as the gains they struggled for come under attack.

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posted by TedW at 4:46 AM on August 16, 2015 [5 favorites]


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My mom was always a big fan of him and wished he would run for president.
posted by octothorpe at 4:51 AM on August 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


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posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 4:52 AM on August 16, 2015


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posted by lalochezia at 4:55 AM on August 16, 2015


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posted by lordrunningclam at 5:02 AM on August 16, 2015


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posted by Cash4Lead at 5:08 AM on August 16, 2015


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posted by cookie-k at 5:22 AM on August 16, 2015


My mom was always a big fan of him and wished he would run for president.

My dad always told us growing up that Julian Bond would be the first black president. (And also that John Kerry would be president some day.) He was so impressed by both of them and how young and magnetic and well-spoken they were when fighting against the Vietnam War.
posted by sallybrown at 5:31 AM on August 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


Mr. Bond's rest has been well-earned.

Rest in power, sir.

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posted by Ashen at 5:36 AM on August 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


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posted by cashman at 5:37 AM on August 16, 2015


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posted by jeri at 5:39 AM on August 16, 2015


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posted by batbat at 5:40 AM on August 16, 2015


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posted by reedcourtneyj at 5:45 AM on August 16, 2015


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Was privileged to once meet the man. Very impressive speaker, great leader.
posted by nofundy at 5:49 AM on August 16, 2015


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posted by Smart Dalek at 6:02 AM on August 16, 2015


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posted by Gelatin at 6:04 AM on August 16, 2015


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posted by JoeXIII007 at 6:10 AM on August 16, 2015


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posted by saulgoodman at 6:13 AM on August 16, 2015


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posted by valkane at 6:16 AM on August 16, 2015


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posted by scottymac at 6:19 AM on August 16, 2015


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posted by adamsc at 6:20 AM on August 16, 2015


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posted by oceanjesse at 6:29 AM on August 16, 2015


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posted by Thorzdad at 6:31 AM on August 16, 2015


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posted by Lighthammer at 6:51 AM on August 16, 2015


He was a champion of gay rights, boycotting the funeral services for Coretta Scott King on the grounds that the King children had chosen an anti-gay megachurch. This was in conflict with their mother's longstanding support for the rights of gay and lesbian people.

Also funny as hell when offered a comic turn. I think he first came in to my consciousness as a host of SNL in the seventies. He had a great deadpan that worked well on The Colbert Report.

I've been watching a series of interviews he's done through the University of Virginia, Explorations in Black Leadership Series, he had a gentle probing style that got more out of Clarence Thomas than I've seen most interviewers.
posted by readery at 6:51 AM on August 16, 2015 [18 favorites]


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posted by Hobgoblin at 7:06 AM on August 16, 2015


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posted by parmanparman at 7:12 AM on August 16, 2015


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posted by fizzix at 7:20 AM on August 16, 2015


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posted by mondo dentro at 7:33 AM on August 16, 2015


He was my college graduation speaker in 2000. The dean of the social work school introduced him with a wink as, among other things, "handsome, and burning with desire...for justice." And he was, on both counts, although the first pales in comparison to the second.

He was a lion who deserved more visibility than he got (although it sounds like he got more visible recently via the Colbert stuff.)

Rest in power.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 7:37 AM on August 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


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posted by Sphinx at 7:41 AM on August 16, 2015


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posted by lord_wolf at 7:43 AM on August 16, 2015


Thanks for your efforts, Julian.
Your war is over now, but the fight goes on.
posted by markkraft at 7:56 AM on August 16, 2015


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posted by the sobsister at 7:56 AM on August 16, 2015


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posted by theora55 at 7:59 AM on August 16, 2015


. Thank you.
posted by SPrintF at 8:00 AM on August 16, 2015


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A life well lived.
posted by arcticseal at 8:09 AM on August 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


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posted by eriko at 8:36 AM on August 16, 2015


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posted by dubitable at 8:44 AM on August 16, 2015


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posted by Xavier Xavier at 8:45 AM on August 16, 2015


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posted by dismas at 8:48 AM on August 16, 2015


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posted by durandal at 8:49 AM on August 16, 2015


Indeed a life well lived. I always hoped he would be the first black president.
posted by bjgeiger at 8:53 AM on August 16, 2015


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posted by brundlefly at 11:00 AM on August 16, 2015


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posted by benito.strauss at 11:09 AM on August 16, 2015


Weird coincidence: this morning I picked up a copy of Look magazine from 1971, the cover story is "16 prominent Americans give you their personal key to PEACE OF MIND", and Julian Bond is one of them.

His entry reads, in its entirety:

"I consider myself personally fortunate in my ability to find peace of mind in action, rather than in sterile reflection or idle contemplation. Since I left college ten years ago (one semester short of graduation) to join the staff of the then embryonic Student Nonviolent Coordinating committee, I have had the good luck to discover myself in the thick of the struggle of black Americans to achieve civil liberties, civil rights, and, most recently, the right to have something to say about what is being done to and -- all too infrequently -- for us.

This involvement has taken me to all corners of the United States and abroad; it has allowed me the privilege of meeting with, agreeing and arguing with famous, infamous and what are called ordinary people, and it has allowed me the possibility of knowing that when my life is finished, I can say that, while what I may have accomplished by then may not signal the end of racism and poverty and war, I tried, while others sought personal solace in philosophizing and moralizing about the inevitability of the human condition.

In other words, I rest best when my mind and body are busy."

(I love that "and what are called ordinary people".)

Dude practically wrote his own eulogy.

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posted by the bricabrac man at 11:24 AM on August 16, 2015 [19 favorites]


My mom was always a big fan of him and wished he would run for president.

Oh, and Look's introduction of him notes: "in 1968, he was briefly a Democratic nominee for the Vice Presidency but withdrew his name because he was seven years too young".

(!)
posted by the bricabrac man at 11:27 AM on August 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


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posted by mistersquid at 11:42 AM on August 16, 2015


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posted by dougfelt at 11:42 AM on August 16, 2015


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posted by trip and a half at 11:49 AM on August 16, 2015


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posted by Quietgal at 11:55 AM on August 16, 2015


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posted by jasper411 at 12:29 PM on August 16, 2015


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posted by Joey Michaels at 12:34 PM on August 16, 2015


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True American hero.
posted by MartinWisse at 12:40 PM on August 16, 2015 [4 favorites]


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Learned from the NYTimes obituary that he was an English major.
posted by sy at 1:01 PM on August 16, 2015


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Rest In Power.
posted by kmz at 1:04 PM on August 16, 2015


Time to make another donation to the SPLC. Help them continue working for the rights of all. In honor of Mr. Bond.
posted by X4ster at 1:21 PM on August 16, 2015 [3 favorites]


Juluan Bond always impressed me as being smarter, more estute, and having a much more formidable intellect than any of his peers, but Jesse Jackson, John Lewis, and Al Sharpton somehow took all the oxygen. For all his fire, I think the man was chill at heart.
posted by three blind mice at 1:36 PM on August 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


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posted by allthinky at 1:43 PM on August 16, 2015


Juluan Bond always impressed me as being smarter, more estute, and having a much more formidable intellect than any of his peers, but Jesse Jackson, John Lewis, and Al Sharpton somehow took all the oxygen.

John Lewis is every inch an American hero as well, and despite his and Bond's at times contentious relationship (due to politics), the two considered themselves brothers forged in the fire of the Movement - as Lewis said today (facebook link). I don't know as much about the Sharpton/Jackson generation of activists, but Bond was unfailingly gracious and thoughtful and not the type to pit himself or his extraordinary accomplishments against anyone else. But he didn't downplay his own accomplishments, nor did he shy away from the spotlight. He risked his life many times over in service of his country's ideals and used the attention-garnering nature of that risk to put the spotlight on the cause of full civil rights for every human being.

I was lucky enough (extraordinarily lucky) to take one of his classes on the history of the movement, and one of the many notable things about it was he never described any of the movement figures as getting more attention than owed, or being attention-seeking - he preferred to focus his teaching on the more forgotten workers, primarily the women activists, whom he felt never got their fair due (he was the first person I ever heard mention Claudette Colvin's name, for example). He was a feminist in theory and in practice. I know right now he would ask all of us to quit talking about him and go read up on Septima Clark, and Diane Nash, and Fannie Lou Hamer, and his sister Jane Bond Moore, and Ruby Smith, and Irene Morgan, and Ella Baker, and Dorothy Height, and Ruby Hurley, and Vivian Malone, and and and...

Anyways, I always hear that famous people disappoint you when you meet them. Julian Bond exceeded my wildest expectations. And he had a melodious, sonorous voice to match his movie star looks and even more beautiful spirit.
posted by sallybrown at 2:10 PM on August 16, 2015 [22 favorites]


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posted by Halloween Jack at 2:28 PM on August 16, 2015


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posted by mosk at 2:28 PM on August 16, 2015


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posted by mgrrl at 2:31 PM on August 16, 2015


He was one of my earliest inspirations to be politically active.

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posted by Mental Wimp at 2:58 PM on August 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


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posted by eustatic at 3:37 PM on August 16, 2015


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posted by homunculus at 4:16 PM on August 16, 2015


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posted by droplet at 6:20 PM on August 16, 2015


Julian Bond was a great man and a great loss to our country

posted by Katjusa Roquette at 6:32 PM on August 16, 2015


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posted by koucha at 7:31 PM on August 16, 2015


I don't know if I remember him from this moment at the Democratic convention, or some other. But he sure made an impression, during that otherwise tragic time. (And yes, to be shallow, those looks didn't hurt!)

Oh, it makes me nostalgic for what might have been, how he seemed a fresh new hope for the whole country in those years. Although I know that what he accomplished in regional politics, social justice movements and education was just as/more significant than the careers of many US Reps or Senators.
posted by NorthernLite at 7:34 PM on August 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


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posted by maggiemaggie at 7:48 PM on August 16, 2015


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posted by one teak forest at 10:33 PM on August 16, 2015


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posted by faineant at 11:10 PM on August 16, 2015


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posted by tonycpsu at 8:48 AM on August 17, 2015


Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis. Requiescat in pace.

“Julian Bond (1940-2015),” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“Between the World, Julian Bond, and Me,” Goldie Taylor, Blue Nation Review, 17 August 2015
posted by ob1quixote at 12:17 PM on August 17, 2015


“Julian Bond and the answering machine that changed Georgia politics,” Jim Galloway, AJC Politics, 17 August 2015
posted by ob1quixote at 12:21 PM on August 17, 2015 [1 favorite]


“Interview with Julian Bond: 'We need to organize!'” Chris Kromm, Institute for Southern Studies, 17 August 2015
posted by ob1quixote at 2:50 PM on August 17, 2015


“Brenda's Last Word: Julian Bond”—Brenda Wood, WXIA TV-11 Atlanta, 18 August 2015
posted by ob1quixote at 7:08 PM on August 18, 2015


FYI, as part of his last wishes, his family is spreading his ashes on the water at 3 PM Eastern, 2 PM Central tomorrow. The Bond family has requested that those able to and wishing to mark Julian Bond's passing spread flower petals on a body of water at the same time.
posted by sallybrown at 9:49 PM on August 21, 2015


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