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Erik Visits an American Grave, Part 363

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This is the grave of Horace Mann Bond.

Born in 1904 in Nashville to a family of educators, Bond grew up in what passed for the black elite, which was small and still subject to the racial violence common to nearly all black families in the early twentieth century. Bond graduated from Lincoln University in 1923 and attended Penn State for awhile, though I am unsure if he received a degree. He got a job teaching at Lincoln, was fired for knowing there was gambling happening at a dorm he was supervising, and then went on for a MA and PhD at the University of Chicago. He wrote a dissertation on public education for black children in Alabama that was published in 1939. He married Julia Washington, another scion of the black elite, and they had three children, including the famed civil rights leader Julian Bond and Jane Bond Moore, a well-known labor lawyer today.

Even before graduate school and marriage, Bond was publishing on civil rights issues, including in the NAACP magazine, The Crisis, which published him as early as 1924 on the horrible injustice of the Army intelligence tests that openly discriminated against black students. I’ve taught these in the past in my survey courses and they were so incredibly culturally specific that they inherently discriminated against anyone not raised in a middle-class white household. He also rose quickly in the world of black college administration. He taught at many schools, became a dean at Dillard in 1934, president of Fort Valley State in 1939, and then held the same post at Lincoln between 1945 and 1957. While at Lincoln, Bond cultivated the relationship with the art collector and millionaire Albert Barnes that left the school with his enormous art collection that has been controversial in recent years as the Barnes Foundation sued the school to regain control over the collection and eventually led to its moving to an independent institution, a sign of how the art world today is one by and for the elite and not the working classes.

Bond was part of the research team to support the NAACP in Brown, a team that also included famed historians John Hope Franklin and C. Vann Woodward. He savaged the 1956 Southern Manifesto, the famed essay by southern white politicians defending segregation, publishing a lampoon that used the old Army intelligence tests and modern IQ tests as a jumping off point to say the senators and congressmen were inherently stupid. This got a lot of attention and he made his point and was satisfied with it. Bond eventually left Lincoln to take a position with Clark University in Atlanta and he retired there. He died in Atlanta in 1968, although his wife outlived him by many, many years.

Horace Bond is buried in South View Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia.

This grave visit was sponsored by LGM readers. For that, I thank you greatly. If you would like this series to cover more black educators, you can donate to cover the required expenses here. Alexander Crummell is in Brooklyn and Mary McLeod Bethune is on the grounds of Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach. Previous posts in this series are archived here.

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