Day 19: Bayard Rustin
Bayard Rustin is best known for his organizing of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963. Rustin was a civil rights organizer, activist, and adviser to Martin Luther King Jr. dedicated to notions of equality and peace through nonviolent civil disobedience. In merging his Quaker religion and Gandhi’s philosophy on resistance, Rustin often promoted non-violence in mobilizing the public. As an openly gay man of radical politics, Rustin was often met with hatred and was arrested several times for his organization of and participation in public social justice demonstrations. Throughout his fight for lesbian and gay rights in the Civil Rights movement, Rustin also advocated for economic equality encouraged by A. Philip Randolph’s rhetoric on socialist theory.