In the annals of the CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT, the career of the politician, activist, and educator Julian Bond holds a unique place. Bond's work on behalf of social justice spans the period from the 1960s to the early 2000s. As a college organizer in 1960, he helped found the STUDENT NON-VIOLENT COORDINATING COMMITTEE (SNCC), arguably the most important group channel for the young people who expanded and radicalized the movement. In 1965, he became one of the first members of his generation to make the transition from activism to political office, subsequently serving for nearly two decades in Georgia state government. Through his legislation, writing, teaching, and planning for legal affairs groups, Bond is widely recognized as an intellectual leader of the contemporary CIVIL RIGHTS movement.
Born on January 14, 1940, in Nashville, Tennessee, Bond was the son of black educators. His
childhood was steeped in the intellectual life of Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, where his father, Horace Mann Bond, served as president. The family's accomplishments?Bond was the descendant of a freed slave?did not insulate him from prejudice. While at the George School, a Quaker prep school at which he was the only black student in the 1950s, Bond was told by the headmaster not to wear his school jacket on dates with white girls. The experience scarred him yet awakened him politically. At that time he also began developing a philosophy of racial awareness and PACIFISM, along with the witty, penetrating style for which he later became known.
In 1957, Bond entered Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. He did not receive his bachelor of arts degree in English until 14 years later, but in the interim, he made history. Bond was inspired by the civil rights movement and particularly the philosophy of nonviolent change espoused by MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. In 1960, Bond helped found two influential student groups. The first of these, the Committee on Appeal for Human Rights, succeeded in integrating Atlanta businesses and public places. The second group, the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), grew into a national phenomenon, becoming the leading civil rights organization among young people in the mid-1960s. SNCC activities ranged from voter registration drives in the South to opposition to the VIETNAM WAR, and Bond, in addition to joining SNCC...