NauenThen

Julian Bond (1940–2015)

August 19, 2015

Tags: Julian Bond

I've been looking at the bound volume of my high-school newspaper, the Orange & Black, given to me by my journalism teacher, Miss Norman, because I was the editor my senior year. My then-boyfriend Ken, who was the Features Editor, & I drove down to Yankton, about an hour away from Sioux Falls, to hear Julian Bond speak.

I ran a full page in the November 7, 1969, issue of the O&B with a brief bio, photos, & excerpts from his speeches about Vietnam, campus disorder, violence, and life in America. Sadly, an awful lot sounds like things he could have said today: "A great many people in this country are determined to see that black people are the last to be hired and the first to be fired." ... "You might say that violence is the Congress of the United States putting cotton, tobacco and cattle ahead of people."

I subsequently sent him the issue and I still have (somewhere) the gracious note I got back, thanking me and saying, "It is good journalism."

He was so dynamic and charismatic & I'm sure I'm not the only person who expected him to become the first black president of the country.