Julian Bonda giant in the civil-rights movement who once headed the NAACPhas died at age 75 in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, after a brief illness.
While attending Morehouse College, Bond became one of the original leaders of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in the 1960s. Later, he also became a writer, educator, legislator and television commentator, among other things. In addition, he founded, with Morris Dees, the Southern Poverty Law Center, a legal advocacy organization in Montgomery, Alabama.
Bond also fought for LGBT rights. Earlier this year, Bond was among those who condemned an Arkansas bill that some said fell short of providing needed non-discrimination protections to all of the state's residents. In 2013, he issued a letter supporting same-sex marriage that Illinois Unites for Marriage distributed.
Also in 2013, a Huffington Post piece quoted Bond regarding the link between civil and LGBT rights. "At bottom," he said, "it's these immutable characteristics [that couple the movements]. And you cannot be discriminated in this country for who you are." ( See www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-g-long/from-black-to-gay-julian-bond-on-civil-rights-and-gay-rights_b_2450090.html. )
Bond is survived by his second wife, Pamela Sue Horowitz, and five children.
FROM THE WHITE HOUSE
Statement by the President on the Passing of Julian Bond
Julian Bond was a hero and, I'm privileged to say, a friend. Justice and equality was the mission that spanned his life from his leadership of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, to his founding role with the Southern Poverty Law Center, to his pioneering service in the Georgia legislature and his steady hand at the helm of the NAACP. Michelle and I have benefited from his example, his counsel, and his friendship and we offer our prayers and sympathies to his wife, Pamela, and his children.
Julian Bond helped change this country for the better. And what better way to be remembered than that.
From Lambda Legal
(New York, August 16, 2015) Kevin Cathcart, Lambda Legal Executive Director, made the following statement:
"Lambda Legal joins others around the country in mourning the loss of Julian Bond, a civil rights icon who dedicated his life to the struggle for justice and human dignity. We stand in awe and admiration of Mr. Bond's enormous contributions not only to the LGBT community but to the unending struggle to uproot inequality wherever it exists. Every one of us who continues the fight for equality and civil rights in our own communities owes a great debt to this fearless, tireless leader who stood on the frontlines for over fifty years.
"From his years as a young organizer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, to his decades in the Georgia Legislature, to his leadership as the president of the Southern Poverty Law Center and Chairman of the NAACP, Julian Bond exemplifies commitment to change both from outside and within. As an LGBT advocate, Julian Bond was one of the first civil rights leaders to endorse marriage equality and, along with Coretta Scott King, to place the movement for LGBT equality alongside other campaigns for human rights.
"We offer our sympathies to Mr. Bond's family and loved ones. We honor his legacy by continuing the fight for justice and equality for all."