I came across his character in the movie "Boycott" but I never really became aware of the man until I saw Brother Outsider.
When one hears of the civil rights movement in the United States, the name Martin Luther King comes to mind. But lurking in the background – in fact, way before King became a symbol of the Black American's struggle for their rights – was Bayard Rustin. A gay activist.
Admittedly, I am not that familiar with the history of the civil rights movement aside from the Montgomery bus boycott, the Ku Klux Klan and the deplorable practice of lynching.
To know the life of Bayard Rustin is to admire his guts for standing up to a system and period where it was a curse to be black and an abomination to be gay. But he did live the life he knew in his heart was right.
I may not agree with his pacifist principles but considering the historical period he lived in, how he stood by what he believed in is admirable at the very least. Despite the repression he faced mainly from the state and at some point from his colleagues – due to his sexuality and color – he just pushed on and on.
"The proof that one truly believes is in action." So true.