The Mighty Michael Julian Bond Just Struck Out

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





We’d love to keep you updated with our latest news and offers 😎

We don’t spam! Read our [link]privacy policy[/link] for more info.

Published by Michael

Harold Michael Harvey is a Past President of The Gate City Bar Association and is the recipient of the Association’s R. E. Thomas Civil Rights Award. He is the author of Paper Puzzle and Justice in the Round: Essays on the American Jury System, and a two-time winner of Allvoices’ Political Pundit Prize. His work has appeared in Facing South, The Atlanta Business Journal, The Southern Christian Leadership Conference Magazine, Southern Changes Magazine, Black Colleges Nines, and Medium.

6 replies on “The Mighty Michael Julian Bond Just Struck Out”

  1. Michael, I’m honestly world weary of male leadership. Courtney English conducted himself with great poise. Yet, I’m sorry, I believe we need fewer men in public office, not because there is a shortage of good and righteous men, but rather because this toxic, hyper-masculine, take-no-prisoners and let-no-one-diss-you style of leadership is what modern masculinity seems to be reduced to. The constant competitiveness among so many men is counterproductive, and extremely unattractive. The current and highly vulgar exchange between our current mayor and mayoral candidate Ceasar Mitchell is also dumb and full of political posturing and swagger that will not put one extra biscuit on the average Atlantan’s plate. Michael Julian Bond’s behavior was not only beyond reprehensible; it was downright stupid and beneath the City of Atlanta. I’m sick of so-called grown men having these public p*ssing contests. It is time for a real change at City Hall and I think these Vote-for-me-because-I’m-Black” Knee-Grows are in for a rude awakening. Thanks for a provocative piece, as always.

    1. Joy, thanks for your insightful comment. I think we need downright righteous people in public office without respect to race, gender or any other factor that tend to deflect from righteousness of righteous people.

  2. I partially agree Michael. The reason why I say this is that this city nor this nation has ever had as much female representation commensurate with women’s actual numbers. Men expect to lead while women tend to have to fight to lead. While I can agree about electing righteous people, I have met many righteous men who have tremendous difficulty listening to women and to people who they suspect may know more about a particular subject. Black male clergy behave this way all the time. I won’t post on your blog what some of them have done to female members of clergy. Many are good men, but they lead out of habit and they tend to lack the capacity to share control and to listen to ideas they are unfamiliar with. And what I have learned from this is to not waste my time with them. Why? Because our people and this city can go to hell in a handbasket while people wait and plead with what currently passes as leadership. FYI: Michael Julian Bond is not the first elected official to act like this, but he was one of a handful that have been caught on camera. I’m ready for most of these folks to leave City Hall.

    1. I understand your position on women leadership. Certainly we need more women in position of authority in government and industry. I slightly disagree with your definition of a “righteous” person. Even a person of the cloth who disrespect women in the manner that you have described is not a righteous person. There is a difference between a righteous person and one clothed with a sense of righteousness.

  3. Michael, I was trying to be kind to them. LOL. I totally get what you mean by that person “clothed with a sense of righteousness.” I probably should define these individuals as “clothed with a sense of SELF-righteousness.” Your definition is accurate and unfortunately, all too common among politicians and clergy who have simply held positions of authority too long. As the late Robert F. Kennedy said, “Power held too long is always power corrupted.” Michael Julian Bond’s twenty-three years in office has created his sense of entitlement to that office. It’s time for him to go.

Comments are closed.