Monday, February 12, 2007

Bayard Rustin the Forgotten Brother's Keeper...

Revisiting the legacy of Civil Rights Legend and Gay Rights Icon: Bayard Rustin
Attention W.E. A.L.L. B.E. subscribers to view Bayard Rustin video please click on the following link:

Bayard Rustin (1912-1987) was an openly gay Black man and Quaker...He was also a brilliant strategist who helped organize the 1963 March on Washington and was a close adviser to Civil Rights leaders and icons such as Dr. King and A. Phillip Randolph, both men who grew up in and had strong connections to the Black Church...Ironically, it was Bayard Rustin along with another under-appreciated icon Ella Baker who actually suggested the formation of the socially conscious and religious based Southern Christian Leadership Conference...Bayard Rustin was the one who advised Dr. King to adopt a strategic position of non-violence or civil dis-obedience during the successful Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955-56 and was also the one along with A. Phillip Randolph who planned the original March on Washington that didn't happen in 1943, but came back to lead and organize the actual 1963 March on Washington where Dr. King made his famous and career defining "I Have A Dream" speech...Mr. Rustin was so invaluable to the movement that when FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover informed "The Big Six" (the official mainstream anointed Black leaders of the movement which included John Lewis of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, Whitney Young of the National Urban League, the labor leader extraordinaire A. Phillip Randolph, Dr. King of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, James Farmer of C.O.R.E., and Roy Wilkins of the N.A.A.C.P.) that Rustin's personal life and sexual preference may ruin their cause and that they should rid themselves of him they all refused to do so...Although many of them did not approve of Mr. Rustin's lifestyle choices, they(led by the wisdom of Dr. King and A. Phillip Randolph) refused to abandon him because they knew he had an exceptional and irreplaceable gift at organizing...An openly gay Black man as well as a Socialist he was subjected to scrutiny by both the Black leadership as well as by the Federal U.S. Government, but yet he persevered and remained true to his call of being his Brother's Keeper!!!

To learn more about Bayard Rustin check out these links:

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