Brother Outsider: The life of Bayard Rustin
February 15, 2013
Pathways to Peace Film Series
This film explores Bayard Rustin's seminal contributions to the civil rights movement and his marginalization as a gay man and conscientious objector.
Hill University Center
(Nacny Kates and Bennett Singer, 2003, 83 min)
Bayard Rustin was a fervid orator and incisive rhetorician who served as a key figure in the civil rights movement for more than 60 years. He introduced Mahatma Gandhi’s principles of nonviolence to American activists, and he organized the 1963 March on Washington, where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. So why doesn’t Bayard Rustin receive equal standing with King in American history? It’s a question of considerable debate, but Rustin’s status as an openly gay man who served jail time as a conscientious objector during World War II guaranteed his marginalization during the 1960s among civil rights leaders, who feared such traits could be used by opponents to discredit their movement.