Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Bayard Rustin, Someone to Know...

I think it's important that we know those that came before us because it's our legacy as a race & as a community. Since we have no examples of openly gay black people in today's spotlight I decided to reach back & expose you to someone that was when we were still fighting for civil liberties. I believe we need to be reminded of the fabric from which we're made, perhaps then, we'll stand tall(er) in our communities whithout shame.

I posted a video clip of Sylvester previous because he was a trailblazer in the music industry. This piece is devoted to Bayard Rustin, our Harvey Milk...
Bayard Rustin was an American civil rights activist, important largely behind the scenes in the civil rights movement of the 1960s and earlier, and the main organizer of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

He counseled Martin Luther King, Jr. on the techniques of nonviolent resistance. He became an advocate on behalf of gay and lesbian causes in the latter part of his career; however, his homosexuality was the basis for attacks from government officials and agencies as well as from interest groups.

Rustin was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania. He was raised by his maternal grandparents. Rustin's grandmother was a member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) with leaders such as W. E. B. Du Bois and James Weldon Johnson who were frequent guests in the Rustin home. With these influences in his early life, Rustin campaigned against racially discriminatory Jim Crow laws in his youth.

In 1932, Rustin entered Wilberforce University. As a student at Wilberforce, Rustin was active in a number of campus organizations - among them the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.

Rustin co-organized the Journey of Reconciliation in 1947; the first of the Freedom Rides to test the ruling of the Supreme Court of the United States that banned racial discrimination in interstate travel.

I find it interesting how open he was then & how closeted some of us are today. This is only a piece of his story. Hopefully, you'll search for more...
*Taken from Wikipedia
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  1. thank you Craig, great look back in history. I will definitely look him up.

  2. Good Stuff and very light-heart-ed!