- Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site
International Civil Rights: Walk of Fame
Julian Bond
Julian Bond

Bond became recognized as a key figure in the Student Movement for civil rights in the early 1960s while attending Morehouse College in Atlanta. In 1960 he and other Atlanta University Center students organized the Committee On Appeal for Human Rights (COAHR). The organization rallied hundreds of college students and garnered the support of veteran activists for picket lines, sit-ins and boycotts. Those demonstrations and a federal lawsuit filed by COAHR spurred the desegregation of Atlanta lunch counters, restaurants, and parks by 1962. Bond also helped to establish the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), serving as the organization's national communications director (1961-1965). Bond continued his activism during two decades as an outspoken Georgia state legislator (1967-1987). Though elected three times to the Georgia House of Representatives, members of the House refused to seat Bond after each victory because of his opposition to the Vietnam War. It took a Supreme Court decision to finally seat him in 1967. At the 1968 Democratic Convention, he led a Georgia delegation that successfully challenged the state's conservative delegation to the Democratic Convention. At that convention, Bond also became the first black person nominated to be Vice President of the United States by a major political party. He withdrew because he was too young to be a candidate. Bond won a Georgia Senate seat in 1974; he served in that office until 1987. When he left the state senate, he had been elected to public office more times than any other black Georgian. In 1998, Bond became Chairman of the Board of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Horace Julian Bond continued a family tradition of activism started by his grandfather, Kentuckian Dr. James Bond (1868-1929), his father, renowned educator Dr. Horace Mann Bond, and his mother, Julia Washington Bond, an activist in civic groups. Julian attended integrated elementary and high schools in Pennsylvania before attending Morehouse, the preeminent college for black men.

Bond 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.