a community newspaper serving western Albemarle County

Julian Bond Speaks at Crozet Library

Julian Bond at Crozet Library

Julian Bond at Crozet Library

Civil Rights Movement hero Julian Bond, founder of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in the 1960s, came to Crozet Library Feb. 27 to be on hand for the screening of a film biography of him made by Ivy filmmaker Eduardo Montes-Bradley.

Bond was a Georgia legislator for 20 years after leading SNCC, the president of the NAACP for 12 years, and a former history professor at the University of Virginia. He teaches now at American University in Washington, D.C. He was a cofounder and president of the Southern Poverty Law Center in Birmingham and narrated PBS’s Eyes on the Prize series, a history of the Civil Rights Movement. He has been a strong supporter of Gay rights.

Montes-Bradley’s 30-minute film was made to air on PBS, and it has. He presented a similarly designed film on poet Rita Dove at Crozet Library the week before.

Taking questions from the crowd packed into the community room after the film, Bond said that one of the biggest remaining challenges to social integration is that laws against housing discrimination are not enforced and segregated neighborhoods are the result.

“I’m a lifelong optimist,” he said, “but unless we put our shoulders to the wheel, we’re going to continue to be stuck.

“Each of us needs to be involved in public life, doing something. Unless we do it, we’re not whole people. I want to make my society perfect. I always think the best thing is going to become so. When I was younger in the civil rights movement, we thought we could integrate lunch counters. If you work hard, you can succeed, and it turned out to be true.”

Bond is leading summer bus tours of important locations in the history of the movement and talking with people, now elderly, involved in those events.

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