Julian Bond, Chairman, NAACP
Ed. Update: Describe a pivotal point in your life. What direction did you take as a result?
Bond: One pivotal moment occurred in February 1960 when a fellow student at Morehouse College approached me with a copy of the day's newspaper-reporting on the sit-ins in that had just begun in Greensboro, North Carolina. He asked my opinion and whether we should replicate that action in Atlanta-I said "yes" and we did. That marked my entry into the civil rights movement-which has lasted until this day.
Ed. Update: What achievements are you proud of?
Bond: There are many-but the most important is having fathered and raised five wonderful children, all now adult, who are making their contributions to the world.
Ed. Update: Who were some of your mentors
Bond: I had many mentors-Ella Baker, Martin Luther King, my parents, my colleagues in SNCC, and many, many more.
Ed. Update: What are your goals for the future?
Bond: My future goals are to keep on doing the work I do with the NAACP-intensifying it and insuring continuity in the struggle for justice.
Ed. Update: What advice would you give to young African-Americans in our society who are striving for success?
Bond: I tell young people to prepare themselves as best they can for a world that grows more challenging every day-get the best education they can, and couple that education with real-life experience in social justice work. Many are attracted to social service-the rewards are immediate, the gratification quick. But if we have social justice, we won't need social service.
Ed. Update: Has the dream of Brown V. Board of Education been achieved?
Bond: Not really-there's been tremendous progress since 1954-but today minority youth are as segregated in schools as they were in 1969-we've slipped backward rather than moving forward.#
Julian Bond, professor, writer and member of the Georgia General Assembly, has been an active participant in the movement for civil rights and economic justice.