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.”
For more than a decade, the Library of Congress has been pleased to participate in an internship program sponsored by the Hispanic Association of Colleges & Universities, or HACU. Talented young students work paid, 15-week internships with various Library divisions, getting a hands-on view of the options here and helping us get the work done […]
The following is a post written by Gina Apone, one of 36 college students who spent the last two months working at the Library as part of the 2015 Junior Fellows Summer Intern Program. Apone currently attends Michigan State University pursuing a dual degree in Pre-Law and Professional Writing with a minor in Public Relations. […]
In June, the Library of Congress issued two major announcements that made headlines nationwide: the appointment of a new Poet Laureate and the retirement of the current Librarian of Congress. After nearly three decades of service, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington announced his retirement effective January 2016. Speaker of the House John Boehner, Democrat […]
(The following is a post written by Peter Armenti from the Poetry and Literature Center’s blog, From the Catbird Seat. Armenti spoke with a researcher who discovered a new Walt Whitman poem in the Library’s collections.) Walt Whitman enthusiasts were treated to a surprise last December when news broke that Wendy Katz, an associate professor […]
April headlines covered a wide range of stories about the Library of Congress. The Library recently acquired a collection of rare Civil War stereographs from Robin Stanford, and 87-year-old Texas grandmother and avid collector. “The images are rich and incredibly detailed,” wrote reporter Michael Scotto for New York 1. Michael E. Ruane of The Washington Post […]
(The following is an article from the March/April 2015 issue of the Library of Congress Magazine, LCM. Editor Audrey Fischer wrote the story. You can read the issue in its entirety here.) Billie Holiday’s iconic song about racial inequality was penned by a poet whose works are preserved at the Library of Congress. Recorded in […]
Who the devil was Soapy Smith? Some would say the devil was Soapy Smith. He was a swindler, a con artist, a bunco steerer. In the 1880s and ’90s he fleeced rubes from Denver to Skagway, Alaska and at many points in-between. He was dubbed “Soapy” because an early con involved selling overpriced soap by […]
(The following is a story written by Peter Armenti, literature specialist for the Digital Reference Section, found in the March/April 2015 issue of the Library of Congress Magazine, LCM. You can read the issue in its entirety here.) The nation’s most acclaimed poets have helped the Library of Congress promote poetry for nearly 80 years. The […]
(The following is a story written by Audrey Fischer for the March/April 2015 issue of the Library of Congress Magazine, LCM. You can read the issue in its entirety here.) A romance that began at the Library of Congress in the 1930s led to the creation of a national poetry prize. Several years before former president […]