As Julian Bond traces his roots back to slavery, the audience is confronted with a unique opportunity to observe the 20th century through the eyes of one of its key witnesses. Now in his seventies, the veteran Civil Rights leader recounts his childhood in the segregated South, growing up in a home frequently visited by intellectuals like Paul Robeson and Langston Hughes. In an intimate conversation with director Montes-Bradley, Bond examines his role in the Civil Rights movement, his opposition to the war in Vietnam, his views on religion, and the struggle to secure a seat in Georgia’s legislature. English, 2012 | HD | 30 minutes. Available from Kanopy Streaming and Alexander Street Press.
Julian Bond was an American civil rights activist, leader, and politician who devoted his life to social justice and racial equality. He was a founder and president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, chairman of the NAACP, a leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and a leader in the civil rights movement. He advocated for the rights of African-Americans, women, and the LGBT community.
The film documents Julian Bond's life and role during the Civil Rights Movement through interviews, archival images, and footage. The film's first part concentrates on the historical factors that led to the March On Washington on August 28, 1963. These factors are brought to light through the telling of the sagas of Bond's grandfather, James Bond—a man born in slavery who went on to graduate from Berea College and Oberlin College—and Jane Arthur Bond, Julian's great-grandmother. Julian's father, Horace Mann Bond, a one-time president of Lincoln College in Pennsylvania, is also considered. The family-related aspects of the film are carefully illustrated with photos from the Bond family albums that were loaned to the producers.
The second act begins with the March on Washington and Bond's entrance into politics at age 23 and concludes with his manifest opposition to the Vietnam War.
The conclusion begins by showing Bond's formal acceptance as an elected representative in the Georgia House of Representatives after finally winning a three-year court battle against the legislative body that had initially refused him his seat due to positions he had taken on issues relating to the Vietnam War. This is followed by segments that show Bond's nomination for Vice President of the United States at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, his failed attempt to obtain the nomination for the presidency in 1976, and a succession of events leading to the 2008 presidential election when Barack Obama became the first African American president of the United States.