Bayard Rustin – Who Is This Man?
A New Black History Month Special from State of the Re:Union
August 28th, 1963 will forever be tied to Martin Luther King Jr.’s hallowed “I Have a Dream Speech.” This historic moment would probably have never come to fruition if it weren’t for a man standing in King’s shadow, Mr. Bayard Rustin. Bayard Rustin was a man with a number of seemingly incompatible labels: black, gay, Quaker . . . identifications that served to earn him as many detractors as admirers. Although he had numerous passions and pursuits, his most transformative act, one that certainly changed the course of American history, was to counsel MLK on the use of non-violent resistance.
Rustin also helped to engineer the March on Washington and frame the Montgomery bus boycott. With such lofty achievements, why isn’t Rustin considered an icon of both Civil Rights and humanity? Why is Rustin not synonymous with Civil Rights? How could a person who changed the course of American history not be a household name? Was he purposely kept out of the history books? On State of the Re:Union, host Al Letson normally sets out to take listeners to a specific place, but for this special, the program takes the audience to a specific time in history that shapes the way we live now. More than just a Black History Month special, we found his complex story one for all seasons.
You can stream or download the entire Bayard Rustin radio episode, or listen to it broken up by segment.The Entire Radio Episode
Download this Episode (30 MB) (to download, right click and choose ‘save as’)
How Bayard Rustin changed the course of history and what he taught a young Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Bayard Rustin’s rising star is almost snuffed out with a scandalous arrest. Then, a rare behind-the-scenes look at Rustin’s role during the 1963 March on Washington.
Late in life, Rustin falls in love and champions a new cause.
Bayard Rustin in Pictures – Watch the Video
Pictures of Bayard Rustin throughout his life and work set to music.
The Music of Bayard Rustin
Rustin and His Music – Listen to the Podcast
Explore the impact that music had on Bayard Rustin, as well as the profound layer that it added to the way he championed his causes.
The Debt – Watch the Video
Host Al Letson, celebrates what Rustin gave over the course of his life through a deeply personal journey with overcoming labels.