Courtesy NAACP

Julian Bond,  civil rights activist, politician and chairman of the NAACP, has died at age 75. Bond died in Fort Walton Beach, Florida after a brief illness, according to a report from CBS46.

Bond leapt to prominence in the civil rights movement in 1960 when a group of Atlanta University Center students led by Bond and Lonnie King released An Appeal for Human Rights as a full-page advertisement in the city’s daily newspapers. The appeal called for civil rights for African-Americans and outlined the organizing of sit-ins to protest segregation around Atlanta. Known as the Committee on the Appeal for Human Rights, the group began the Atlanta Student Movement and lead sit-ins at lunch counters and other locations. Bond would help establish the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and traveled extensively around the South to help organize civil rights and voter registration drives.

Bond was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 1965, but refused his seat because of his anti-war sentiments on Vietnam. The case when to the U.S. Supreme Court and Bond finally took his seat in 1967.

He served in the Georgia House until 1975 and then served six terms in the Georgia Senate from 1975 to 1986. He also served as president of the Southern Poverty Law Center from its founding in 1971 to 1979 and was later on its board of directors.

In 1998, Bond was elected as board chairman of the NAACP, serving for 10 years.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.

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