NAACP chair will broaden message
By Frank Chapman, Weekly World, 28 February 1998
Julian Bond, who was denied his seat in the Georgia state legislature for opposing the war in Vietnam and who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1960s, was elected national chair of the NAACP Feb. 21.
Bond said he wants to broaden the message of the organization.
"'Colored' people come in all colors," he said. We want to reach out to emerging Americans, Hispanics, Latinos, Native Americans, Asians and white Americans,"
NAACP board members gave Bond 29 votes for the unpaid position, while five rivals received a total of 24. NAACP spokesperson Daniel Wilson said the losing candidates give "their full support" to Bond.
"I want to make sure the NAACP voice is heard wherever race is discussed," Bond told a news conference after the vote. "There are some indices of Black life in America that are abysmal."
The outgoing chair, Myrlie Evers-Williams, chose not to seek a fourth term. She and NAACP President Kweisi Mfume stood with Bond at the conference while he explained that the organization, after three years of internal disarray and financial crisis, is "on the way to fiscal health and recovery."
The NAACP, founded by W.E.B. Du Bois and Ida B. Wells, has been a major force in the civil rights movement for its 80- year history.
Bond is a veteran civil rights and human rights leader and in recent years has hosted the nationally televised talk show, "Black Forum."
During the 1960s he was one of the founders of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and in the 70s and 80s he frequently spoke out against the death penalty and was active in the struggle to free Johnny Imani Harris and other political prisoners.
He was the first African American to get elected to the Georgia state legislature since Reconstruction.
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