Jun 19th 2020
Fearless advocate and leader of Civil Rights, Non-Violence and Gay Rights movements in the 1940s, Bayard Rustin was a key conduit and contributor to the well known teachings and guidance of Martin Luther King Jr. In an era where individuals of specifically black and LGBTQ+ communities were being completely disregarded as citizens, Rustin vowed to not only stand for those with no voice, but dismantle the inner workings and laws that allowed such injustices. In 1941, he helped lead the March on Washington Movement which sought to bring an end to racial discrimination in the work place. In 1964, he became the leader of the A. Phillip Randolph Institute, which promoted an African-American integration of all-white unions. As a gay black man, Rustin also experienced the discrimination and, even incarceration, of a country rooted in homophobic principles. In response, he became a prominent advocate as a speaker and activist at numerous Gay Rights movements in the early 1980s. Rustin’s will to fight for the marginalized expanded beyond US lines as he led and served in many humanitarian missions, aiding refugees in southeastern Asia and, in his final moments, in Haiti where he founded the National Emergency Coalition for Haitian Refugees. It's plain to see that Bayard Rustin wasn’t just a prominent figure for black, LGBTQ+ communities, but a pioneer for the human minority.Until literally his last living breaths, Rustin's tireless body of work and legacy should constantly remind us to not only see right from wrong, but to act in the name of justice and equality.
“The proof that one truly believes is in action.”
― Bayard Rustin