Bayard Rustin: A Lost Civil Rights Leader

Forgotten Prophet Remembered

When we think about the Civil Rights Movement certain names come to mind (Rosa Parks, the Little Rock Nine, Lorraine Hansberry, John Lewis, MLK, Malcolm X), but few know about the life of Bayard Rustin — a gay civil rights activist who organized the 1963 March on Washington.

As we remember the incredible legacy and compassion of Martin Luther King, Jr., take time to watch “Brother Outsider”—perhaps one of the most important civil rights documentaries I’ve ever seen.

Next time you think about MLK’s riveting “I Have a Dream Speech,” think about Bayard Rustin, because the history-making march on Washington, and subsequent speech, wouldn’t have happened without him.

Watch the entire documentary “Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin” FREE on and pick up one of these books.

The Life and Times of Bayard Rustin
By John D’Emilio
University Of Chicago Press, Paperback, 9780226142692, 592p

The Collected Writings of Bayard Rustin
By Bayard Rustin
Edited by Devon W. Carbado and Don Weise
Cleis Press, Paperback, 9781573441742, 354p

American Dreamer
By Jerald E. Podair
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Hardcover, 9780742545137, 173p

“The barometer of where one is on human rights questions is no longer the black community, it’s the gay community. Because it is the community which is most easily mistreated.”

—Bayard Rustin