12-17-2017  3:57 am      •     
MLK Breakfast
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

NEWS BRIEFS

Exhibit Explores the Legacy of Portland Bird Watchers

Dedicated bird watchers catapult a conservationist movement ...

Special Call for Stories about the Spanish Flu

Genealogical Forum of Oregon seeks stories from the public about one of history's most lethal outbreaks ...

Joint Office of Homeless Services Announces Severe Weather Strategy

Those seeking shelter should call 211 or visit 211.org. Neighbors needed to volunteer, donate cold-weather apparel ...

Q&A with Facebook's Global Director of Diversity Maxine Williams

A conversation on diversity and the tech industry ...

City Announces Laura John as Tribal Liason

Laura John brings an extensive background in tribal advocacy and community engagement to the city of Portland ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

Don’t Delay, Sign-up for Affordable Healthcare Today

The deadline to enroll or modify healthcare coverage under the Affordable Care Act is December 15. ...

The Skanner Editorial: Alabama Voters Must Reject Moore

Allegations of predatory behavior are troubling – and so is his resume ...

Payday Lenders Continue Attack on Consumer Protections

Charlene Crowell of the Center for Responsible Lending writes that two bills that favor predatory lenders has received bipartisan...

Hundreds Rallied for Meek Mill, but What About the Rest?

Lynette Monroe, a guest columnist for the NNPA Newswire, talks about Meek Mill, the shady judge that locked him up and mass...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

Associated Press and The Skanner

Through the tough struggles of the civil rights movement, Julian Bond always kept his sense of humor, and it was his steady demeanor that helped him persist despite the inevitable difficulties involved, his wife recalled.

Bond "never took his eyes off the prize and that was always racial equality," Pamela Horowitz told The Associated Press on Sunday.

Bond died Saturday in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, Horowitz said. He was 75. Horowitz said she did not yet know the exact cause of death, but that her husband had circulatory problems.

Bond's life traced the arc of the civil rights movement, from his efforts as a militant young man to start a student protest group, through a long career in politics and his leadership of the NAACP almost four decades later.

Year after year, the calm, telegenic Bond was one of the nation's most poetic voices for equality, inspiring fellow activists with his words in the 1960s and sharing the movement's vision with succeeding generations as a speaker and academic.

"He always ... in that hard struggle kept a sense of humor, and I think that's what allowed him to do that work for so long — his whole life really," Horowitz said.

Former U.N. Ambassador Andrew Young said Bond's legacy would be as a "lifetime struggler."

"He started when he was about 17 and he went to 75," Young said. "And I don't know a single time when he was not involved in some phase of the civil rights movement."

Bond's death was first announced by the Southern Poverty Law Center, an advocacy group that he founded in 1971 and helped oversee for the rest of his life.

The son of a college president burst into the national consciousness after helping to start the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, where he rubbed shoulders with committee leaders Stokely Carmichael and John Lewis. As the committee grew into one of the movement's most important groups, the young Bond dropped out of Morehouse College in Atlanta to serve as communications director. He later returned and completed his degree in 1971.

Bond was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1965 but fellow lawmakers, many of them white, refused to let him take his seat because of his anti-war stance on Vietnam. The case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled in his favor. Bond finally took office in 1967.

"If this was another movement, they would call him the PR man, because he was the one who wrote the best, who framed the issues the best. He was called upon time and again to write it, to express it," said Eleanor Holmes Norton, who was Bond's colleague on the student committee and later wrote a friend-of-the-court brief for the American Civil Liberties Union when Bond's case was before the high court.

President Barack Obama called Bond "a hero."

"Justice and equality was the mission that spanned his life," Obama said in a statement. "Julian Bond helped change this country for the better."

In 1968, Bond led a delegation to the Democratic National Convention, where his name was placed in nomination for the vice presidency, but he declined because he was too young.

He served in the Georgia House until 1975 and then served six terms in the Georgia Senate until 1986. He also served as president of the law center from its founding until 1979 and was later on its board of directors.

Bond was elected board chairman of the NAACP in 1998 and served for 10 years.

He was known for his intellect and his even keel, even in the most emotional situations, Young said.

"When everybody else was getting worked up, I could find in Julian a cool serious analysis of what was going on," Young said.

Bond was often at the forefront of protests against segregation. In 1960, he helped organize a sit-in involving Atlanta college students at the city hall cafeteria.

"We never thought that he really would participate and be arrested because he was always so laid back and cool, but he joined in with us," recalled Carolyn Long Banks, now 74, who said Bond never sought much recognition in those early years.

Bond was "a thinker as well as a doer," said Charlayne Hunter-Gault, a journalist who struck up a friendship with Bond in the early 1960s, when she was one of the first two black students to attend the University of Georgia. At the time, Bond was an activist in Atlanta with the newly formed committee.

"He was a writer as well as a young philosopher," Hunter-Gault said. His eloquence and sense of humor "really helped sustain the young people in the civil rights movement."

Hunter-Gault said she hopes a new generation of activists draws lessons from Bond's life and work as they embrace the Black Lives Matter movement.

"Everybody is not going to be out there in the street with their hands up or shouting," she said. "There've got to be people like Julian who participate and observe and combine those two things for action and change that make a difference."

Bond also lent his writing talents to the Black press where he served as a columnist to the more than 100 newspapers that form the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), including The Skanner.

NNPA chairperson Denise Rolark Barnes thanked Bond for his commitment to the civil and human rights movement.

“His lifelong dedication and commitment to political and economic empowerment, journalistic diversity and integrity, and educational equality served as a beacon for others to follow. His presence and voice will be sorely missed, but his words remain true for the NNPA: ‘Good things don’t come to those who wait. They come to those who agitate!’” Burk said.

Civil rights activist, and current NNPA president Ben Chavis, echoed Barnes’ sentiments calling Bond a “long-term dedicated fighter for freedom, justice and equality.”

Morris Dees, co-founder of the law center, said the nation had lost one of its most passionate voices for justice.

"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," Dees said.

After leading the NAACP, Bond stayed active in Democratic politics. He also made regular appearances on the lecture circuit and on television and taught at several universities.

"You can use the term giant, champion, trail blazer — there's just not enough adjectives in the English language to describe the life and career of Julian Bond," said Doug Jones, a former U.S. attorney in Birmingham, Alabama.

"A voice that has been silenced now is one that I just don't think you can replace," Jones said.

Horace Julian Bond was born Jan. 14, 1940, in Nashville, Tennessee. He is survived by Horowitz and five children. Funeral plans have not been finalized, but Horowitz said Bond will be cremated and his ashes scattered over the Gulf of Mexico.

Associated Press contributed to this story

Carpentry Professionals
Health Effects of Smoking
Calendar

MLK breakfast 2018 300x100

Photo Gallery

Photos and slide shows of local events

Family Care Health