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Bond won’t seek re-election as NAACP chairman…

November 21, 2008 by  
Filed under News, Politics

(Akiit.com) – Baltimore, MD: Veteran civil rights activist Julian Bond will not seek another term as chairman of the NAACP’s national board, saying the time is right to “let a new generation of leaders” take over the century-old organization.

Bond, 68, has served as chairman since 1998. He announced Tuesday that his current one-year chairman’s term, which expires in February, will be his last, although he plans to remain on the board.

“This is a time for renewal. We have dynamic new leadership. The country has a new president in Barack Obama; the organization has a new CEO in Benjamin Jealous, and we’ll soon have a new chairman of the NAACP Board,” Bond said in a statement. “The NAACP and the country are in good hands.”

Bond said he had long planned to serve as chairman until the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s centennial, which will be under way when his term ends.

Bond, a professor at American University and the University of Virginia, was teaching classes Tuesday and was unavailable for interviews, an NAACP spokeswoman said.

The NAACP appreciates Bond’s commitment and looks forward to his continued active involvement as a board member, Jealous said in a statement.

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

Gordon, Bond said at the time, wanted to move the NAACP “into the post-civil rights period.”

We’re not post-civil rights,” Bond said. “The struggle continues.”

Ronald Walters, a political science professor at the University of Maryland, said Bond was successful in returning the NAACP to its core mission of advocating for public policy that benefits minorities.

He came in at a very difficult time, and I think he’s done relatively well, in terms of the economic crises he faced and the leadership crises and those sorts of issues,” Walters said.

He said the choice of the next board chairman would be critical and that the NAACP would be wise to pick someone who, like Bond, would be supportive of Jealous and willing to work with him.

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.

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