The Mighty Michael Julian Bond Just Struck Out

September 8, 2017 Off By Michael

Atlanta City Councilman Michael Julian Bond gets in the face of his opponent Courtney English during a heated debate as the moderator Dr. Rashid Richie attempts to restrain Bond.
Photo from Courtney English Facebook Page

The mighty Michael Julian Bond, the 23 year veteran of Atlanta City Council just struck out in his run to retain his city-wide post against Courtney English.

English is currently the Chairman of the Atlanta Public Schools. This year he qualified to move Bond out of the Post 1 seat he has held since 2010.

According to sources in the journalistic community, Bond has been going around of late pitching a laundry list of dirty items he wants published about English.

Thus far no takers, but Bond is undaunted. This week he lashed out at English during a candidate forum. He had to be removed forcibly from English’s face by the political umpire, popular WAOK talk show host and former Atlanta gangbanger Dr. Rashid Richie.

According to a statement released by English on his Facebook page the verbal attack was an “unprovoked, profanity laced tirade, filled with threats of violence, personal attacks, and insults about me and my family–specifically my mother.”

English’s mother is deceased. She raised him as a single parent and stressed education and good manners.

“His behavior is beneath the dignity of his office and is frankly an embarrassment to the city that has always served as a moral compass for the world. There can be no place for the types of bullying and intimidation tactics that we see play out in other parts of the country, here in our city, which is supposed to be too busy to hate. Councilman Bond attempted to drag the city on a hill into the gutters,” English’s statement said.

Bond’s grandfather, Horace Mann Bond was president of Fort Valley State College when this writer’s mother was a student. His father, Julian would not allow John Lewis to pull him into gutter politics when the two of them ran for the Fifth Congressional District seat in 1986. Lewis said Bond was lazy during the civil rights days. Bond did not punch back and Lewis won the office.

Michael Julian Bond comes from better stock than to pull the bullying tactics that he did against English this week. By bearing and family legacy, Bond ought to know better. At a very minimum he should be ashamed of himself, as neither English nor his mother’s memory deserved the personal attack leveled upon them.

This writer has known English since he was two years old, watched him learn his ABCs, coached him in Little League baseball and taught him how to win debates with umpires as a precursor to winning debates against politicians.

English is a better person than the person Bond hurled his tirade towards. Of all my little league baseball players, English was the intellectual on the team. He was playful, but always kept his head in the game and picked up on the life lessons we taught through the game of baseball.

Left to Right Courtney English and Harold Michael Harvey
Photo Credit: (c) 1999 Cascade Press

In 1999 little Courtney English led the Homestead Grays into the Sandy Koufax District Tournament with 19 RBI’s (runs batted in). His teammates could count on him to come through in the clutch.

When this group of kids went off to college, some to become lawyers, some journalists, some house painters, some sports agents and even a school board chair, we pledged to meet up in 2019 to see if the lessons learned on the baseball field had had an impact on their lives. As we get closer to this reunion, I am sure that I will be proud of the report that English brings to the group.

As the city of Atlanta moves into the 21st century, it can use English’s playful intellect to come up with creative ways to provide and fund city services.

Following Bond’s assault on English, the phone has been ringing off the hook from his old teammates wanting to help him win the Post 1 seat.

It would appear, that English just threw Bond a cutter on the outer half of the plate, and try as he might, Bond will not be able to hit it. For all intents and purposes, the mighty Michael Julian Bond has struck out.

Harold Michael Harvey is an American novelist and essayist. He is a Contributor at The Hill, SCLC National Magazine, Southern Changes Magazine and Black College Nines. He can be contacted at