Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Do you know who Bayard Rustin is?

Since we are coming to the end of Black History month, I thought I should write a little bit about Bayard Rustin, the unsung hero of the struggle for African American civil rights. Rustin, who was raised a Quaker, was one of the influences that convinced MLK that nonviolent resistance was the best way to win the struggle for freedom. He was also on of the key organizers of the 1963 march on Washington, where MLK gave his famous "I Have a Dream" speech. Yet he is almost unknown to most Americans, black and white. The reason for this is a simple one, he was gay. At the time, his sexuality forced him into the background of the civil rights movement,but he continued to fight for equality for both black and LGBT people for the remainder of his life. If the LGBT people are going to ever have equality, then we must remember those who fought for our rights. We owe it to Bayard Rustin to remember him.

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