An important list, I think. Often those of color were so marginalized in society that those that were gay were practically invisible.
Bayard Rustin, the gay, Quaker civil rights organizer. He is one of the unsung heroes of the last century’s social movements.
One social reformer that was not invisible was Bayard Rustin, the main organizer of the 1963 March on Washington. Rustin’s sexuality did, however, impact negatively on his place in history. Only now, 50 years after the March and two and a half decades after his death is his importance to civil rights and gay rights in the 20th century being reexamined.
Bayard Rustin, prior to the 1963 March on Washington. |Image: AP via BuzzFeed
Really great piece this morning on BuzzFeed about Bayard Rustin, the architect of the 1963 March on Washington, which occurred 50 years ago today.
Rustin, the piece argues, has been mostly ignored by history because of his refusal to hide his homosexuality, even then, and his Quaker faith and temperament, which caused him to forswear all violence.
President Obama will posthumously bestow the Presidential Medal of Freedom on Rustin this year.