Julian Bond

A Civil Rights Activist

Early Life and Education

Julian Bond was born on January 14th, 1940 in Nashville Tennessee. He was very familiar with the civil rights movement from a young age, for his house was frequently visited by activists, scholars, and celebrities, such as W. E. B. Du Bois and Paul Robeson. When he was a child his father became the first African American president of Lincoln University, which somewhat inspired Bond’s future in the civil rights movement. Bond attended Morehouse College in Atlanta, which is where he became a civil rights activist and also earned a degree in English. He began to led nonviolent protests against segregation in Atlanta, and also helped form the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in North Carolina around the same time.

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Beginning in Politics & the Georgia House of Representatives

In 1965, Bond was voted into the Georgia House of Representatives, but the state refused to swear him in due to his opposition to the Vietnam War. This case went all the way to the Supreme Court, with Bond gaining support from multiple people including Martin Luther ing Jr along the way. Finally the court ruled unanimously in favor of Bond on the basis of freedom of speech. This is typically considered Bond’s biggest involvement in the civil rights movement, and it lead to him serving in the Georgia House from 1967 to 1975. In 1975 is when he moved on to the Georgia Senate for 11 years. In his time here, Bond wrote over 60 bills that were ratified as laws.

Vice President Nominee

In 1968 Bond was present at the Democratic National Convention and was nominated as a vice-president candidate. this made him the first African American to be nominated, but he withdrew his name due to his young age (48).

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US House of Representatives

Bond ran for office again, this time the Us House of Representative in Georgia, but he heavily lost to John Lewis.

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Overall Activism & Jobs

Other activism of Bond’s includes co founding the Southern Poverty Law Center, being president of Atlanta’s NAACP, becoming the chairman of national NAACP, and being a commentor for NBC”s today. Bond was also a professor at the University of Virginia and the American University.


Bond died on August 15th, 2015 at the age of 75 due to a brief illness. After his death, Morris Dees, Southern Poverty Law Center co-founder, stated “With Julian’s passing, the country has lost one of it most passionate and eloquent voices for the cause of justice.”
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