US Civil rights activist Julian Bond dies in Florida at age 75

Julian Bond, Southern Poverty Law Center

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He was one of the prominent early civil rights activists. One of the co-founders of Student Nonviolent Co-ordinating Committee in early 1970s and a prominent leader of the anti-Vietnam War campaign, he chaired the Board of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), 30 years later. The man, Julian Bond, widely viewed, as stated by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), as "visionary and tireless champion for civil and human rights", died in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, after a short illness.

Commenting after his death, US President Obama said that "Julian Bond helped change this[US] country for the better - and what better way to be

remembered than that.," adding that Mr Bond is "a hero and, I’m privileged to say, a friend."

Julian Bond never stopped fighting for the civil rights of Blacks and other minorities. In fact he often observed that "Black skin still acts as a mark of difference - for many white Americans, a negative difference" and "black Americans were still "far, far from" achieving equality.

While announcing his death, SCLC said in an official statement:
"With Julian's passing, the country has lost one of its most passionate and eloquent voices for the cause of justice...He advocated not just for African-Americans, but for every group, indeed every person subject to oppression and discrimination, because he recognised the common humanity in us all."

Julian Bond served for 20 years in the Georgia Legislature, dominated by Whites who viewed him as an unapologetic civil rights activist and hence avoided working closely with him. Upon his election, some whites legislators blocked him from taking his seat.
He became a founder, with Morris Dees, of the Southern Poverty Law Center, a legal advocacy organization in Montgomery, Alabama. He served as its president from 1971 to 1979 and remained on its board for the rest of his life.

Horace Julian Bond was born Jan. 14, 1940, in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1945, his father, Horace Mann Bond, moved the family to Pennsylvania, to served as the first African-American president of his alma mater, Lincoln University.

The US Civil Rights movement and Blacks have lost an icon.