Jason Howard Green

Jason Howard Green

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Celebrate Black Queer Voices: Feb 13 - Bayard Rustin


Netflix made the announce yesterday that they will be giving Bayard Rustin his own biopic.  Rustin is hands down one of my favorite heroes from the Civil Rights era.  He is the man that introduced Martin Luther King Jr. to the principles of non-violence.  He was the organizer of the March on Washington.  He was an advocate and activist for the Labor movement and had the ability to bring people and movements together.

Although Bayard was an accomplished leader in the fight for black equality, his was a name that did not often receive mention when studying this era.  Why?  Because many leaders within the movement did not think Rustin was deserving of the accolades and some did not want his name associated with the black civil rights movement at all.  The reason why was simple – Rustin was openly gay.  He was unapologetically gay at time was homosexuality was not just taboo.  This was the 1960s when homosexuality could get you sentenced to jail, fired from your job, kicked out of your family and excommunicated from the church.  Rustin was instrumental in the civil rights movement for black equality but still vocal regarding the fact that the LGBT community was deserving of equality as well.

This man is my icon.  There is a fantastic documentary about him called Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin.  I think this film is a must see.  This man’s story is remarkable and I think he should be a household name.  Get into the trailer of Brother Outsider below:

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