JULIAN BOND: Black Rebel by John Neary

JULIAN BOND: Black Rebel

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On a commission from Life magazine Neary visited Atlanta to watch Julian Bond, thirty-year-old black wunderkind of the Democratic Party, in action. He found a compelling and paradoxical young man who dresses with elegant Ivy League conservatism, maintains an unflagging surface cool, and got un ""surprisingly well"" with Governor Maddox. A moderate among black activists, Bond was a storm-center in the Georgia legislature, having been denied his seat for his premature (1966) opposition to the Vietnam war. ""Americans need a Supernegro,"" says Neary measuring Bond for the role and wondering how the aura of ""potential"" is to be realized. Despite his national reputation, confirmed in '68 when he was nominated for the Vice Presidency, Bond sits isolated ""like a chastened schoolboy"" in the legislature. Neary provides a few glimpses of Bond's family (his father was onetime President of Lincoln University, Pa.) and his early days in the Atlanta SNCC office before setting off to follow him on some of his many speaking engagements (700 plus since the Convention). According to his enemies, Bond is ""lallygagging around the country bad-mouthing Georgia and the South""; according to his friends he is mobilizing the black, the poor and the young to form new coalitions, politicizing the apathetic, cynical and inert. Lacking a power base outside of his own small ragamuffin Atlanta district, Bond seems at present to be in a state of political limbo despite Neary's enthusiastic efforts to elect him as ""Hero-at-large.

Pub Date: April 26th, 1971
Publisher: Morrow