Bond to step down as NAACP chair
BALTIMORE - 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 yesterday 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 underway when his term ends.
Bond, a professor at American University and the University of Virginia, was unavailable for interviews yesterday, 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."
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.