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Julian Bond on civil rights history and future

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The Associated Press
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The civil rights icon speaks Thursday at Albion College as part of the 2014 MLK Convocation

Julian Bond's address begins at 7:00 in Albion College's Goodrich Chapel. His address is called "The Dream: The Journey So Far and the challenge ahead. Bond spoke with WMUK's Earlene McMichael about the successes of the civil rights movement, and the work that remains.

Bond who was chairman of the NAACP from 1998 to 2010 and president emeritus of the Southern Poverty Law Center says the accomplishments include passing laws that ban racial discrimination, and he says those have been mostly successful. But Bond says discrimination still exists, and he says the challenge is to continue working on eliminating discrimination in American life. 

As a student at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Bond took a Philosophy course from Martin Luther King Jr. Bond says the public face of King was often somber. But in private, Bond says King had a great sense of humor, and enjoyed life. 

Bond, now 74 years old, is an environmentalist and a supporter of same-sex marriage. Bond refused to go to the funeral for Coretta Scott King because it was held at a church where the pastor is "a raving homophobic." Bond says Coretta Scott King was a supporter of rights of gays and lesbians. And says that he knew gay people who were major supporters of the civil rights movement. Bond says that includes one of the organizers of the March on Washington in 1963. 

You can hear more of the interview with Julian Bond on WestSouthwest Wednesday morning at 9:20 on WMUK. 

Gordon Evans became WMUK's Content Director in 2019 after more than 20 years as an anchor, host and reporter. A 1990 graduate of Michigan State, he began work at WMUK in 1996.
Earlene McMichael was WMUK's local host of NPR's Morning Edition from August 2012 through October 2021. A former, long-time Kalamazoo Gazette editor, reporter, and columnist, she was a news anchor at WHCU-FM when it was owned by Cornell University, her alma mater.
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