Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Born on This Day 3/17

Bayard Rustin, 1912.

"The question of social change should be framed with the most vulnerable group in mind: gay people."

Quaker. Super influential civil rights activist and friend of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Rustin helped plan and execute the Montgomery bus boycotts and was the prime organizer of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. He was even involved in the Free India Movement before India gained it's independence from Britain and helped guide Dr. King toward Gandhi's philosophy of non-violence.

Rustin's obituary from the New York Times on August 25th, 1987 is an interesting period piece, carefully skirting the fact that he was gay until the third to the last paragraph, where his 1953 arrest on a morals charge is briefly discussed.

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