I had the pleasure of meeting Julian Bond when he spoke to a history class at American University where I served as the Teaching Assistant. I escorted him to the class, and in the time that we had together, I mentioned that we had something in common: a single sex college education. Bond ribbed me about not having gone to Morehouse College, and I let him know that I was able to blaze a trail at Hampden-Sydney, since no one in my family had been there (an older cousin of mine is a Morehouse man).
We met again a few years later in Richmond, when Bond served as the 2005 keynote speaker at the Commonwealth Dinner for Equality Virginia. He remembered our men's college connection, and I thanked him for serving as a speaker on the issue of gay rights. In that speech, Bond made a very cogent argument showing the connection between the Civil Rights Movement and the Gay Rights Movement.
It was with great surprise that I saw this op-ed in yesterday's Washington Post. Once again, Bond reiterates his full support of GLBT equality by heartily endorsing the Equality March set for DC tomorrow, and he shows once again the connections between the two rights movements. Bond belongs to a small minority of black leaders, past and present, who speak forcefully and publicly in favor of gay rights, and for this I say thanks, once again.
Read Bond's op-ed, or watch the following video of Bond speaking to the Los Angeles chapter of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay rights lobby. It's a compelling presentation, and one that I think more than quells those weak attempts by too many to deny a relationship between the rights movements. And, I especially want black folks to listen to what Bond has to say here, and I dare them to challenge his understanding of Civil Rights history: