Julian Bond, the civil rights advocate and former NAACP chairman whose lifelong devotion to the cause of equality and justice left an imprint on public education, died Aug. 15. He was 75.
Over the years, he was a forceful voice on education issues, including as an early critic of aspects of the federal No Child Left Behind Act.
In his book The Unfinished Agenda of Brown v. Board of Education, published in 2004 on the 50th anniversary of the seminal U.S. Supreme Court decision on school desegregation, Bond reflected on the ruling, which was handed down when he was 14 years old. He looked at how it had changed schooling for African-American students, at resistance to integration, and at the nettlesome problems that remained in providing better educational opportunities for minorities.
He wrote at the time that among the NAACP's goals for public education were addressing the concentration of minority students in failing schools and inequitable school funding.
Bond was a supporter of considering race in college-admissions decisions, and he was critical of how the civil rights movement and African-American history were taught in schools.
In a 2014 foreword to "Teaching the Movement 2014," a publication of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which he co-founded in 1971, he wrote that "ignorance remains the operative word when it comes to the civil rights movement and much of African-American history."
Vol. 35, Issue 02, Page 5