WATCH: Historic Black Church in Birmingham, Where Julian Bond Planned Civil RIghts Campaigns, Reacts to Leader’s Death


U.S. civil rights leader Julian Bond died Saturday night in Florida after a brief illness, the Southern Poverty Law Center said. He was 75.

Bond, a Nashville, Tennessee native, was born on Jan. 14, 1940. He grew to be a major force in the campaign for racial equality.  WVTM 13 found out some of Bond’s work took place in Birmingham.

St. Joseph Baptist Church in Birmingham is a historic landmark that was a spot for civil rights meeting. Leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Bond went there to plan the civil rights movement.

“Some of the civil rights participants were here planning strategies for Birmingham especially took place here in St. Joseph,” says Edgar Lamar.

Lamar is a longtime member of St. Joseph. He says he was young man when Bond came to his church. He says he never got a chance to shake his hand.

“Julian Bond, like most civil rights advocates, were to me role models. They advocated for not only black people but for people all over the world,” Lamar said.

Bond was a leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and a longtime National Association for the Advancement of Colored People board chairman.

“The civil rights movement had some of the best leaders in American history and we can really learn a lot from them today about how to bring our country together to solve problems we still have,” Sam Allon, who visited Birmingham from Pennsylvania, said Sunday.

Alabama Congresswoman Terri Sewell released a statement Sunday about Bond’s passing:

“Mr. Bond stood on the front-line of the fight for equality, and his legacy should be an inspiration for all those who seek to become champions for change.”

President Barack Obama has called Bond’s widow to offer condolences following the death of the civil rights activist. Obama says Bond helped change America for the better and there’s no better way to be remembered than that.

Click here to watch video.

SOURCE: Fred Davenport

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