Wednesday, December 10, 2008

6242: The Name Is Bond. Julian Bond.

From The Associated Press…

Bond to seek new term as NAACP board chairman

By Ben Nuckols

BALTIMORE (AP) — Three weeks after announcing he would not seek another term as chairman of the NAACP’s national board, veteran civil rights activist Julian Bond said Tuesday that he has changed his mind.

Bond told The Associated Press Tuesday night he was flattered and pressured “in a positive way” by his board members to stay on. He first said he was interested in returning during an interview on “The Tom Joyner Morning Show” earlier in the day.

Bond said he had always wanted to be the board chairman during its centennial next year.

“You get to be 100 years old and you can’t wait for it to come around again. I want to spend more of my efforts celebrating,” he told the AP, adding that he had the support of most of the organization’s 64 board members.

In addition to the centennial festivities planned next year, Bond said he wanted to focus his efforts on raising funds for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, which he acknowledged would be difficult in the troubled economy.

However, he said, “we survived the depression and this is not a depression year. If we survived that, we can survive this.”

Bond also said that even with the election of Barack Obama as president, the civil rights group has much work to in this country.

“We’re not the national association for the advancement of one person,” Bond said. “Obama has reached the mountaintop; we want to help others reach the mountaintop. That’s the unfinished work.”

Bond, 68, has been board chairman since 1998. He said three weeks ago that the time was right to let younger leaders take over the NAACP.

With Bond’s backing, Benjamin T. Jealous, 35, was chosen in May as president and CEO of the NAACP, becoming the youngest president in its history.

Jealous supports Bond’s decision to remain as chairman “100 percent,” said Carla Sims, an NAACP spokeswoman.

Bond provided stability and a respected national voice to the NAACP, which has been roiled in recent years by infighting and financial difficulties. He acknowledged clashing with Jealous’ predecessor, Bruce Gordon, who resigned abruptly in March 2007.

Bond helped found the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee while a student at Morehouse College in Atlanta in 1960 and participated in protests and registration campaigns throughout the South.

In 1965, he was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives, which refused to seat him until the Supreme Court intervened the following year. He served for 20 years in the Georgia legislature before an unsuccessful bid for Congress in 1986.

Associated Press writer Kasey Jones in Baltimore contributed to this story.

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