WASHINGTON (AP) — Friends and family of Julian Bond remembered the deceased civil rights leader as a man who left a lasting “invaluable imprint” on not only the civil rights movement but on people around the United States and the globe.
Bond’s admirers gathered at the Lincoln Theater in Washington on Tuesday to remember Bond, who died in August at age 75 and was cremated in a private ceremony.
His son, Michael Bond, said while the world knew his father as a student activist, elected official, social justice leader and college professor, he also was a loving father and husband.
“He was the man who cared for us, tucked us in at night, wiped our tears, taught us to ride bikes and when we fell, bandaged our knees, encouraged and loved us,” the younger Bond said.
Bond’s widow, Pam Horowitz, told the crowd that she hopes they will honor Bond “by doing the work that consumed his life.”
Bond’s life traced the arc of the civil rights movement, from his efforts as a militant young man to start a student protest group, through a long career in politics and his leadership of the NAACP almost four decades later. Speakers reminisced about Bond’s gentle yet firm voice, and willingness to pass on hard-won knowledge from his days on the frontline of the civil rights movement and with the NAACP.
“His teaching has left an invaluable imprint on everyone,” said Myrlie Evers-Williams, who preceded Bond as chair of the NAACP.
Bond also co-founded the Southern Poverty Law Center, made regular appearances on the lecture circuit and on television and taught at several universities.
“We honor Julian not by what we say here today but what we do tomorrow and the next day, and the next day — as we keep his spirit in our hearts and work relentlessly to make real his vision of equal rights for all,” said Heather Booth, who was hired by Bond direct the NAACP National Voter Fund in 2000.