The National Association of Black Journalists Mourns the Loss of Julian Bond
Monday, August 17, 2015
Posted by: Aprill Turner
WASHINGTON (August 17, 2015) -The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) mourns the passing of civil rights icon Julian Bond. He was most known for co-founding the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, serving in the Georgia General Assembly and working in the top echelons of the NAACP. He also considered a run for U.S. president in 1976.
Bond wrote regular columns on race and equality and served as the host of “America’s Black Forum,” a weekly news television show that is the oldest black-owned program in syndication. He co-authored the book “Eyes on the Prize,” a history of the Civil Rights Movement, from the march on Selma in 1954 to the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965. It became an Emmy Award-winning television series on PBS. Bond's father thought he would become an educator, but instead he took an interest in journalism and political activism, according to the New York Times.
Former NABJ President Kathy Times recalled Bond's participation on a trip to Senegal with NAACP leaders, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and NABJ members, including Djibril Diallo of the United Nations. Diallo organized the U.S. delegation's trip to Senegal as the country celebrated 50 years of independence. It was an opportunity for Times to witness and cherish a historical journey with an icon whose career she'd been following since she was a teenager.
"I can't believe he's gone. But the impact of his work will live on and influence many students and activists who benefited from a lifetime of service," said President Times.
Former Detroit Chapter-NABJ President Randye Bullock met Bond in 1975. As a former aide to U.S. Congressman John Conyers, D-Detroit, Bullock introduced Bond to the Detroit community numerous times.
"What made Julian Bond so exceptional, was that he was a man of the people. He loved to interact with everyone, from all walks of life. He was a remarkable person, and never forgot about his people -- or where he came from,” said Bullock.
Bond's participation at an NABJ regional conference in the mid-90's had an effect on NABJ members. NABJ member Wayne Dawkins remembered his keynote address discussed how the NAACP still had relevance in the black community. As Bond spoke of the challenges facing black America, he asked conference attendees, "Who are you going to call -- the NAACP or Ice-T?" Bond also attended NABJ conventions as an invited guest.
Bond died Saturday after a brief illness, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Bond's candor, calm spirit and ability to provoke action were his trademarks and will be missed.
An advocacy group established in 1975 in Washington, D.C., NABJ is the largest organization for journalists of color in the nation, and provides career development as well as educational and other support to its members worldwide.