Bayard Rustin at 100: Rediscovering a Forgotten Hero

February 9, 2012

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Bayard Rustin. Photo by Bennett Singer.

Bayard Rustin (1912–87) was instrumental in bringing Gandhi’s protest techniques from India to America in the 1940s, a mentor to Martin Luther King Jr., and an organizer of the seminal 1963 March on Washington. Despite his achievements, Rustin was expunged from history—largely because he dared to be an openly gay man during a fiercely homophobic era. Listen in to filmmaker Bennett Singer (codirector of Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin, shown as part of the LGBT Film Series on January 28) and Rustin’s life partner Walter Naegle for a conversation on Rustin’s life and legacy—including his rediscovery by a new generation of Americans committed to social and economic justice.

Recorded Thursday, February 9, 2012 at the Chicago History Museum.