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Rights pioneer Julian Bond to lead NAACP

Civil rights pioneer Julian Bond on Saturday was made chairman of the NAACP, saying he hoped to have the organization become a leading voice on all issues of race.

Bond, 58, a former Georgia legislator, is a history professor in Washington, a frequent radio and television commentator and chairman of the NAACP's publication Crisis Magazine."It is a daunting responsibility," Bond told members meeting at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Manhattan following the 29-24 vote. "I want to make sure the NAACP voice is heard wherever race is discussed," he said.

"Colored people come in all colors," he said. "We want to reach out to emerging Americans, Hispanics, Latinos, Native Americans, Asians and white Americans."

Bond had joined the field of five other candidates on Tuesday because he "got a number of calls from board members urging me to run."

The other candidates for the unpaid position were Joe Madison, a Maryland radio host; Lenny Springs, a North Carolina banker; Leon Russell, a human rights official in Florida; Marc Stepp, a Detroit labor union executive; and Charles Whitehead, a utilities executive from Kentucky.

Outgoing chairman Myrlie Evers-Williams said she was departing after accomplishing her mission of helping save the civil rights organization from "the financial, moral and organizational morass in which we found ourselves."

The 64-year-old widow of assassinated civil rights leader Medgar Evers announced earlier this month that she would not seek a fourth one-year term.