Bond on civil rights: Task ahead ‘equal to if not greater’ than gains made

The victories of the civil rights movement were extraordinary, but this work is far from done according to civil rights activist, politician, and writer Julian Bond.

Bond, who helped to found the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in the 1960s, served in the Georgia House of Representatives and Senate, and chaired the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), traced the history of the fight for racial equality at a Woodrow Wilson School lecture Nov. 20.

“It saw wrong and acted against it. It saw evil and brought it down,” said Bond of the civil rights movement. “But the task ahead is enormous, equal to if not greater than the job already done.”

Bond spoke of the evolution and organization of the SNCC, which encouraged the development of independent political parties, added foreign policy and economic concerns to the Black agenda, used grassroots organizational tactics to mobilize the rural South, and addressed the psychological barriers to Black political and social engagement.

Bond noted that these efforts continue in varying forms, and he cited the long lines of voters in Florida two weeks ago as evidence of their legacy: “ordinary men and women proving they could accomplish extraordinary tasks in the pursuit of freedom.”

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