julian_bond.jpgCINCINNATI (AP) _ The chairman of the NAACP says racial disparity will remain an issue in America, regardless of whether Barack Obama is elected as the nation's first black president.

Julian Bond, a veteran civil rights leader, said Sunday night at the organization's convention in Cincinnati that Obama's candidacy doesn't “herald a post-civil rights America, any more than his victory in November will mean that race as an issue has been vanquished in America.''

But he drew loud applause when he said there is pride that a presidential candidate who couldn't have stayed in some cities' hotels several decades ago has had success in this year's campaign to be the Democratic nominee.

In a stirring speech to the nation's oldest civil rights organization on Monday night, Obama insisted blacks must show greater responsibility for improving their own lives.

Republican presidential candidate John McCain will speak here Wednesday.

Pictured above is NAACP Chairman Julian Bond.