The nation and the world are mourning the passing of civil-rights activist Julian Bond, who died on Saturday in Florida at age 75. Brought up in an intellectual family, he was a skinny, witty, articulate young man when he helped found the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, or SNCC, in 1960, traveling around the south to organize civil-rights and voter-registration drives.
Julian Bond, in youth
He interrupted his education at Morehouse College to participate in the crucial years of the civil-rights movement, then returned to school in 1971. With Morris Dees, he co-founded the Southern Poverty Law Center in Alabama. He later served as chairman of the NAACP and taught at American University and at the University of Virginia.
In 1965, Bond – who had been vocal in his opposition to the Vietnam War – was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act. The chamber tried to bar his entry as a lawmaker on grounds he had opposed the war. Although a U.S. District Court supported the Georgia House in the dispute, ultimately in 1966 the U.S. Supreme Court ordered the House to seat Bond, saying its grounds for barring him violated his free-speech rights. He went on to serve four terms in the Georgia House and six terms in the Georgia Senate.
He was also nominated in 1968 for vice president of the United States – becoming the first African American to be so nominated – at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. He was, however, too young to serve under the limits set by the U.S. Constitution. Bond later ran an unsuccessful campaign for Congress.
Julian Bond appears in many of the Library’s major civil-rights collections, including the NAACP Papers, the SNCC Collection and the American Folklife Center’s Civil Rights History Project Collection. A poet and author, he also narrated the prize-winning public television documentary “Eyes on the Prize.” He supported same-sex marriage rights.
Here, he narrates the introduction to the current Library of Congress exhibition, “The Civil Rights Act of 1964: A Long Struggle for Freedom.”
April Rodriguez, one of 36 Library of Congress Junior Fellow Summer Interns, wrote the following post while working in the Library’s American Folklife Center. Rodriguez recently received a master’s degree in library information studies from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. She also has a background in sound engineering and film archiving, and she was […]
Today we’re going to add a new term to your broad vocabulary: Fenian. It’s a noun that describes a member of an Irish or Irish-American brotherhood dedicated to freeing Ireland from British dominion. The name was taken from the “Fianna,” a group of kings’ guards led by the legendary Irish leader of yore, Finn MacCool. […]
(The following is a story written by Stephen Winick, folklorist and writer-editor in the American Folklife Center, for the January/February 2015 issue of the Library of Congress Magazine, LCM. The issue can be read in its entirety here.) A century after his birth, folklorist Alan Lomax is remembered for his preservation of the nation’s cultural […]
(The following is a guest post by Monica Mohindra of the Veterans History Project.) “Home for the holidays”- it’s a sentiment that can cut across lines we might otherwise let divide us. For my dad, it means a longing to be with his family in India for Diwali, a multi-day festival of light that falls […]
(The following is a guest post by Tracy North, reference specialist in the Library of Congress Hispanic Division.) As Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 – Oct. 15) comes to a close, now is an excellent time to reflect on the many ways in which Hispanic Americans have contributed to our nation’s cultural and political landscape. […]
The American Folklife Center (AFC) at the Library of Congress is inviting Americans participating in holidays at the end of October and early November – Halloween, All Souls Day, All Saints Day, Dia de los Muertos – to photograph hayrides, haunted houses, parades, trick-or-treating and other celebratory and commemorative activities to contribute to a new […]
Considered the most significant piece of civil rights legislation since Reconstruction, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. It banned discrimination in public accommodations, such as hotels, restaurants, theaters and retail stores. It outlawed segregation in public education. It banned discrimination in employment, and it […]
The Library of Congress blogosphere helped beat the heat in June with a variety of engaging posts. Here are a sampling: In the Muse: Performing Arts Blog Connecting to Samuel Barber: A Young Musician’s Connection to a Musical Manuscript Music Division intern Rachael Sanguinetti talks about her appreciation of the composer’s works. Inside Adams: Science, […]
Folk singer, activist and friend of the Library of Congress Pete Seeger passed away Monday in Manhattan. He was 94. The Library’s American Folklife Center and the Music Division are home to multiple collections documenting Seeger and his family’s extraordinary musical accomplishments. (The following is a repost from the American Folklife Center blog, Folklife Today.) Pete […]