ATLANTA, Ga.–With Saturday’s passing of Julian Bond, a mainstay voice of the Civil Rights movement is silent. Bond, who was 75 when he died, traveled to Mississippi in the early 1960s to help blacks register to vote.
Once the Voting Rights Act passed, he himself was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives, and later to the Georgia Senate.
His work in Mississippi and for the Civil Rights movement as a whole is being remembered as important and historic. He was the first president and co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center, and served on its board as an emeritus until his death.
Bond was chairman of the national NAACP from 1998 until 2010.
Mississippi’s NAACP issued a statement following the announcement of Bond’s passing:
The Mississippi State Conference NAACP (MS-NAACP) is saddened to learn about the passing of long time Civil Rights activist and NAACP National Board Chairman Emeritus Julian Bond. The life and legacy of Julian Bond will be forever etched in the memory and teachings of past and current social justice movements. Mr. Bond dedicated his life to Civil and Human Rights work. His commitment to social justice began as a student at Morehouse College where he was active with the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Chairman Bond served in several capacities with the NAACP including President of the Atlanta Branch and Chairman of the National Board of Directors.
Mississippi NAACP Pres. Derrick Johnson added:
He was the voice of the civil rights movement. As an historian and activist he was unmatched in succinctly articulating an issue with absolute clarity.