Julian Bond

From KeyWiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Julian Bond

Julian Bond is a veteran U.S. socialist activist.


Horace Julian Bond was born in Nashville, Tennessee, in January 1940. His father, Dr. Horace Mann Bond, was the first president of Fort Valley State College, and in 1945 became the first black president of the country's oldest black private college, Pennsylvania's Lincoln University. The Bond family lived at Lincoln until 1957, when Dr. Bond became dean of the School of Education at Atlanta University. His mother, Julia Washington Bond, retired in her 90s after working for decades as a librarian.


Julian Bond graduated from the George School, a coeducational Quaker school in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, in 1957, and entered Morehouse College in Atlanta that same year.

Bond holds numerous honorary degrees and has served on the boards of many organizations working for social change. He is currently a Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the American University in Washington, D.C., and a professor in the history department at the University of Virginia[1].


A collection of Bond's essays has been published under the title A Time To Speak, A Time To Act. His poems and articles have appeared in The New York Times, American Negro Poetry, the Los Angeles Times, and several other national publications[2].


While still a student, Bond was a founder of the Committee on Appeal for Human Rights, a student civil rights organization that helped win integration of Atlanta's movie theaters, lunch counters, and parks.

Bond was also one of several hundred students from across the South who helped to form the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee . He later became SNCC's communications director, responsible for its printing and publicity departments and editing the SNCC newsletter, The Student Voice. Bond also worked in voter registration drives in the rural South.

Bond left Morehouse one semester short of graduation in 1961 to join the staff of a new protest newspaper, The Atlanta Inquirer. He later became the paper's managing editor. Bond returned to Morehouse in 1971 and graduated with a B.A. in English[3].

Helsinki Communist youth festival

Bobbie Rabinowitz was at the 1962 Soviet front World Federation of Democratic Youth Festival in Helsinki, Finland.

The Festival committee organized a fundraiser at the Village Gate. The program included Pete Seeger, Phil Ochs, Tom Paxton, Judy Collins, Odetta and Bob Dylan, "all before they were nationally known, and all singing to support the Festival! We raised enough funds to send a cultural contingent on scholarship. Over 400 youth from all over the US attended the Helsinki Festival." They are lurking everywhere still! I can think of "some now prominent folks who were on that Festival contingent, including NAACP chair Julian Bond and Bernice Reagon, who founded Sweet Honey in the Rock. It is part of history that there was an attempt to have a "counter" US delegation at Helsinki, whose role was to disrupt. This delegation, composed mainly of Yale students,was funded by the CIA. Which goes to show you that "dirty tricks" were alive and well in 1962."[4]

Democratic politics

Bond was first elected in 1965 to a one year term in the Georgia House of Representatives. Members of the House voted not to seat him because of his outspoken opposition to the war in Vietnam. Bond was elected two more times before the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the Georgia House had violated Bond's rights in refusing him his seat.

During his service in the Georgia General Assembly, Bond was sponsor or co sponsor of more than 60 bills that became law, and he organized the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus, then the largest such group in the nation.

He was elected to the Georgia Senate in 1974. When he left the state senate in January 1987, Bond had been elected to public office more times than any other black Georgian, living or dead, ending his tenure only when an unsuccessful congressional race in 1986 prevented him from seeking re election to the Senate.

In 1968, Bond was co chairman of the Georgia Loyal National Delegation to the Democratic Convention. The Loyalists, an insurgent group, were successful in unseating the hand picked regulars. Bond was nominated for Vice President of the United States, the first black person to be so nominated by a major political party, though he withdrew his name because he was too young to serve[5].

National Committee Against Repressive Legislation

Bond was listed as a Vice-Chairperson of the Committee of the National Committee Against Repressive Legislation, circa 1965.[6] NCARL has now merged into Defending Dissent.

REP sponsor

In 1966 Julian Bond was a listed sponsor of the Ann Arbor Michigan, based Radical Education Project, which described itself as "an independent education. research and publication program, initiated by Students for a Democratic Society, devoted to the cause of democratic radicalism and aspiring to the creation of a new left in America.[7]

Cablegram to Portugese Socialists and the M.F.A.

In 1974, after a pro-communist military coup in Portugal;

More than eighty Americans, all identified with opposition to the Vietnamese war and with various radical and liberal causes, sent on August 9 a cablegram to to the Portugese Armed Forces Movement, to Portugese president francisco da Costa Gomes and to portugese socialist leader Mario soares expressing the hope that "democratic freedoms"...will continue to grow in Portugal".

Michael Harrington, the national chairman of the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee, organized the effort with help from 5 "Initiators" - Lawrence Birns (writer), Sissy Farenthold (past president National Women's Political Caucus), Congressman Michael J. Harrington, Martin Peretz (chairman, editorial board New Republic), Cleveland Robinson (vice president, Distributive Workers of America), Leonard Woodcock (president United Auto Workers, Jerry Wurf (president AFSME).

Elected officials who signed the cablegram included: Julian Bond, Willie Brown, Jr., John Conyers, Jr., Don Edwards, William Gluba, Edward J. Koch, Parren J. Mitchell, Henry S. Reuss, Benjamin S. Rosenthal and Louis Stokes.[8]

In The Times Founding sponsors

In 1976 founding sponsors of the Institute for Policy Studies/New American Movement linked socialist journal were;

Citizens Party

In 1979 Stanley Weiss, an Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) Trustee was a founding member[10]of the IPS connected Citizens Party. Other founders included IPS co-founder and senior fellow Richard Barnet, Adam Hochschild of Mother Jones magazine, Archibald Gillies, director of the John Hay Whitney Foundation, Julian Bond, a trustee of the IPS spin-off Institute for Southern Studies, Chicago activist organizer Don Rose, campaign manager and adviser to Chicago Mayor Jane Byrne, and Quentin Young, the Director of Medicine at Cook County Hospital, Chicago.

Endorsed Communist Party front

1982 National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression pamphlet

In 1982 Julian Bond endorsed a Communist Party USA front, the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression, which was led by leading Party members Angela Davis and Charlene Mitchell.

Communist award ceremony tribute

The Communist Party of Eastern Pennsylvania & Delaware's 1990 annual Peoples Weekly World banquet honored Jim Moran, director of Philadelphia Area Project for Occupational Safety and Health, and Debbie Bell, local Party chairperson and treasurer of the Black Radical Congress. Royce Adams served as MC, while Eliott Kenin sang and Amina Baraka recited poetry.

Adams read out a tribute to Bell from Julian Bond of the NAACP - he said Bell was "part of a band of brothers and sisters who dared risk life and limb to make American democracy live up to its promise....you could not selected a finer life to celebrate or a finer person to honor."[11]

Progressive organizations

Southern Poverty Law Center

Bond has a long history with the Southern Poverty Law Center. When Morris Dees and Joseph J. Levin, Jr. founded it in 1971, Bond became its first president. He served as president emeritus for years, and today serves on its board of directors.

Bond also narrated two of the Center's videos, the Academy Award-winning "A Time for Justice" and "The Shadow of Hate," which was nominated for an Oscar[12].

Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee

According to the December 29, 1979, issue of Information Digest, the "initiators" of the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee (forerunner of Democratic Socialists of America) , formed in 1973 as a result of a split within the Socialist Party USA, largely over the issue of cooperation with communists, included Julian Bond, Heather Booth, John Conyers, Ronald Dellums, Douglas Fraser, Joyce Miller, William Winpisinger, and Jerry Wurf.

Among the prominent figures; who joined Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee around late 1976, early 1977 were; James Farmer; Georgia State Representative Julian Bond; New York State Assemblyman Seymour Posner; Zolton Ferency, ,former head of the Michigan Human Rights Party; and Gloria Steinem.[13],

DSOC conference

Some 150 delegates and 100 observers met at Houston's Airport Holiday Inn, February 16-19, 1979, for the fourth national convention of the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee (DSOC).

DSOC's leadership[14]at the 1979 convention included-Michael Harrington, chairman, Julius Bernstein vice chairman, Victor Reuther vice chairman, Jack Clark national secretary.

The national board consisted of-Julian Bond, Harry Boyte, Bogdan Denitch, Harry Fleischman, Irving Howe, Alex Spinrad, Gloria Steinem, Harry Walsh, Nat Weinberg, Richard Wilson

Democratic Agenda/Socialist Caucus

For groups and organizations seeking radical social change within the Democratic Party, the National Convention of 1980 had at least one historic first - formation of a Socialist Caucus of delegates. Organized by the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee and by the Democratic Agenda which was DSOC's cadre and supporters within the Democratic Party and was based in DSOC' s New York office and at 1730 M Street, NW, Washington, DC. Some 31 delegates and alternates from twelve states and Democrats Abroad attended the Socialist Caucus.

As a preliminary to the convention's Socialist Caucus meeting, , indeed as a "building event" and as a continued show of support for Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA), the Democratic Agenda sponsored a convention rally at New York's Town Hall. The speakers included Herman Badillo, Julian Bond, Fran Bennick, Harry Britt, Cesar Chavez, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI}, Douglas Fraser, Murray Finley, Michael Harrington, Terry Herndon, Ruth Jordan, Ruth Messinger, Eleanor Smeal, Gloria Steinem and William Winpisinger.

DSOC works within the Democratic Party, said Harrington, because of the party's relationships with organized workers, blacks, feminists, environmentalists and other "progressive groups."

The Socialist Caucus circulated a list of convention delegates who were caucus members, including;[15]

DSA member

In 1986, Julian Bond, a Georgia State Senator, was a member of Democratic Socialists of America.[16]

Tribute to Golub and Montgomery

ON November 16, 1989, Julian Bond served on the Tribute Committee for the Chicago Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights Tribute to Leon Golub and Lucy Montgomery, held at the Congress Hotel, Chicago.[17]

DSA honor

Chicago Democratic Socialists of America 35th Annual Eugene V. Debs - Norman Thomas - Michael Harrington Dinner was held on Friday, May 7th at the McCormick Hotel. Nearly 350 people gathered to honor the lifetime achievements of Julian Bond[18].

You have spent a lifetime as a leader in the movement for social justice.
From your days as a student to your work as a scholar, your career has been marked by constancy and conviction.
From your opposition to the Vietnam War to your leadership in the fight for civil rights, you have recognized the link between peace and economic and social justice.
From your support of southern sharecroppers to your advocacy of Soviet Jewry, you have spoken out on behalf of others.
Writer, orator, activist. No living American better exemplifies the tradition of Eugene V. Debs, Norman Thomas and Michael Harrington.
For your dedication to the cause of working men and women, the Eugene V. Debs - Norman Thomas - Michael Harrington Dinner Committee hereby proudly presents you with its 1993 award.

Institute for Southern Studies

The Institute for Southern Studies was incorporated in the state of North Carolina on July 28, 1989. The founding members listed on the incorporation papers:


In 1995, Bond was elected to his fourth term on the National Board of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Bond has served as chairman of the NAACP since his election in February 1998[19].

Campaign for America's Future

In 1996 Julian Bond, NAACP Board Chair was one of the original 130 founders of Campaign for America's Future.[20]

American Rights at Work

In 2008 Julian Bond served on the board of directors[21]of American Rights at Work.

Wellstone Action

In 2009 Julian Bond was listed as a member of the Advisory Board[22] of Wellstone Action, a Minnesota based organization based on the political legacy[23] of that state’s late ‘progressive” Senator Paul Wellstone.

Wellstone Action and Wellstone Action Fund combine to form a national center for training and leadership development for the progressive movement. Founded in January 2003, Wellstone Action's mission is to honor the legacy of Paul and Sheila Wellstone by continuing their work through training, educating, mobilizing and organizing a vast network of progressive individuals and organizations.

People for the American Way

Bond serves on the People for the American Way's Board of Directors.[24]

Socialist Debs award

Every year since the mid 1960s the Indiana based Eugene V. Debs Foundation holds Eugene Debs Award Banquet in Terre Haute, to honor an approved social or labor activist. The 2002 honoree, was Julian Bond.[25]

Apollo Alliance

In 2006, Julian Bond, NAACP served on the National Advisory Board of the Apollo Alliance.[26]

Admiring Cuba

In November, 2006, Bond traveled to Cuba to take a first-hand look at the island’s health system, and especially to find out about the Latin American Medical School (ELAM) and its nearly 90 U.S. students.

Most of these young people come from minority and medically underserved communities - the kind of communities they have pledged to serve upon graduation.

Gail Reed of Cuba Health Reports spoke with Julian Bond, January 30 2007, about the health situation in the USA and how his trip to Cuba relates to his broader commitments[27].

Cuba Health Reports: Who are the people without adequate health care in the USA today? Who’s in the ranks of the 47 million uninsured?

Julian Bond: The majority of the people without heath care in the United States are poor people, and disproportionate numbers of them are people of color. The United State’s medical and health services are generally fee-for-service plans. The level of care or medical attention one receives is based on ability to pay. Although there are public programs for the poor and elderly, many Americans still do not receive adequate care.

CHR: Were you able to meet some of the U.S. students at the Latin American Medical School? What was your impression of them?

JB: We were more than impressed with the students we met. It is unusual for me, at least, to meet a group of young people who are both idealistic and willing to suffer for a greater good. The handicaps of studying in a foreign country in a language which may not be your mother tongue and living under much more harsh circumstances than a U.S. medical student would were ample evidence to all of us that this was an unusual group.

CHR: The U.S. medical students are in classes with students from 29 countries of Latin America, the Caribbean and Africa. What would you hope they might learn as Americans from that experience?

JB: I am sure the American students have already had their horizons widened. This must be a great out-of-classroom learning experience for them – mixing with people from many countries and cultures while pursuing common goals.

CHR: Assuming these graduates pass the U.S. boards, do you think they can make a contribution to U.S. underserved communities?

JB: I know they will make a great contribution, and I am trying to expand the NAACP’s educational scholarships or raise additional funds so these young people can have the same access to Board prep courses that are available to students educated in the United States.

CHR: This wasn’t your first visit to Cuba…what was the road that brought you here originally?

JB: I first visited Cuba in the spring of 1959. I drove from Atlanta (where I was in school) to Key West with three college friends and we took a ferry from there to Havana. We stayed in the Roosevelt Hotel and visited the Tropicana – and a casino. We went to Havana High School. One of my colleagues was a pianist and there was a piano in the vestibule and he sat down and began to play. Students began pouring in, flooding us with questions about who we were, where we were from, why we had come. The truth was we were enchanted by the revolution. Our newspapers had carried stories about President Castro’s triumphant entry into Havana. He and his colleagues were all young, as were we – I was 19 – and we found something appealing in their story and their victory.

This last trip (in November 2006) simply reinforced my admiration for the Cuban people and the society they are building.

Black Commentator

As of 2009 Julian Bond was listed on the Editorial Board for the Black Commentator.[28]

Support for Barack Obama


The Black Scholar

Bond was a contributor to The Black Scholar.[29]

Council for a Livable World

As at March 12, 2010, Julian Bond, a Writer and Lecturer served on the board of the Council for a Livable World. The Council was founded in 1962 by nuclear physicist Leo Szilard and other scientists. Its purpose is to campaign against the proliferation of nuclear weapons through lobbying and by supporting candidates who share their vision.[30]

SNCC re-union

The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee held its 50th anniversary conference at Shaw University here, April 15-18, 2010.

At its founding here on April 17, 1960, the now-legendary civil rights organization adopted its first formal program. Life long Communist Party USA activist Debbie Bell was a founding member, serving alongside Julian Bond, Harry Belafonte, John Lewis (now a member of Congress from Georgia), Freedom Singer and Sweet Honey in the Rock founder Bernice Johnson Reagon, the Revs. David Forbes and James Lawson, Joyce Ladner and Dick Gregory.

All these founders spoke at the anniversary event. There were speeches too by Attorney General Eric Holder and actor Danny Glover.[31]

Glover and Holder were too young to be part of SNCC, but both emphasized that they would not be where they are today without SNCC and its heroic struggle for African American liberation.

Single Stop USA

As at Feb. 14, 2011, Bond served on the Advisory Board of Single Stop USA, and organization that seeks to slash poverty nationally.[32]

Midwest Academy awards

Julian Bond

When Democratic Socialists of America controlled Midwest Academy held its annual award ceremony December 12, 2012, at the Eatonville Restaurant, Washington DC, Elizabeth Warren was guest speaker.

Long time Democratic Socialists of America member Julian Bond was given a “Lifetime Achievement Award”, while another one time DSAer Mike Lux, was given a Progressive Leadership Award, as was Damon Silvers.[33]

External links


  1. http://www.splcenter.org/center/history/bond.jsp
  2. http://www.splcenter.org/center/history/bond.jsp
  3. http://www.splcenter.org/center/history/bond.jsp
  4. The Festival Movement: We Were There!Dynamic Magazine Back Issues 2005 - August
  5. http://www.splcenter.org/center/history/bond.jsp
  6. NCARL letter, circa October 1965
  7. Bill Buckley's Combat May 15, 1968
  8. Democratic Left, Sep. 1975, page 2
  9. [1] In These Times home page, accessed March 6, 2010
  10. Information Digest Oct. 24 1980
  11. PWW October 30, 1999, page 2
  12. http://www.splcenter.org/center/history/bond.jsp
  13. The Militant, March 25, 1977 30
  14. Information Digest March 7 1979 p 63
  15. Information Digest, Septemer 19, 1980, p 333
  16. Democratic Left, March/April 1986, p 12
  17. Tribute to Golub and Montgomery: Program, Nov. 16, 1989
  18. http://www.chicagodsa.org/ngarchive/ng30.html#anchor301925
  19. http://www.splcenter.org/center/history/bond.jsp
  20. CAF Co-Founders
  21. http://www.americanrightsatwork.org/board-of-directors.html
  22. http://www.wellstone.org/about-us/board-directors
  23. http://www.wellstone.org/about-us/our-mission-goals
  24. Board of Directors
  25. Eugene V. Debs Foundation homepage, accessed March 14, 2011
  26. Democratic Underground.com, Jan-01-06
  27. http://www.medicc.org/cubahealthreports/chr-article.php?&a=1027
  28. http://www.blackcommentator.com/about_us.html
  29. The Black Scholar
  30. CLW website: Board
  31. http://peoplesworld.org/sncc-50th-anniversary-meet-mixes-nostalgia-and-determination/
  32. Single Stop USA: Board (accessed on Feb. 14, 2011)
  33. Midwest Academy Facebook, Academy Awards 2012! with special guest Elizabeth Warren, at Eatonville Restaurant