Black + Iconic: Bayard Rustin

Morgan State University junior Dave reflects on the significance of having an LGBTQ leader in the Civil Rights movement fighting for freedom.

For decades, Bayard Rustin’s contributions to the civil rights movement went understated. The openly gay activist was an advisor to Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., as well an essential organizer for the monumental March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963. After the death of his friend and collaborator Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., he continued his human rights work with travel to Vietnam, Cambodia and Haiti on human rights missions, and by serving as head of the A. Phillip Randolph Institute until 1979. A year before his 1987 death, he was an advocate for the New York State gay rights bill. This year actor Colman Domingo was nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal of the leader in "Rustin."

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