Julian Bond never rested on his laurels nor on anyone’s civil rights being withheld. He also never forgot his allies in the civil rights movement which ended segregation and produced the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act.
In 2010, Julian Bond traveled from Atlanta to Trenton to testify before our Senate Judiciary Committee on behalf of marriage equality. It was a historic moment for supporters of marriage equality.
Demonstrating the dignity and power of his stature, Julian Bond, civil rights leader for all humanity, stated, “My gay brothers and sisters came South and marched alongside me in the struggle for my civil rights. I came North today to support the struggle for their civil rights.”
The quote is a paraphrase from his statement. It captures what I took away from his powerful testimony that day. I remember Julian Bond from the civil rights struggle of the 1960s. To see him in person testifying in New Jersey before our Senate Judiciary Committee on which I am a member, was one of the most memorable experiences of my life. His message, that every human being deserves their civil rights and to never forget those who fought not for themselves but for you, will stay with me forever.
Julian Bond, iconic civil rights leader, will rest in peace. And we will miss him.