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Screening of Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin

When: Thursday, June 5, 2014, 3:45 pm
Where: Central Square Library • 45 Pearl St • Central T • Cambridge

Bayard RustinBrother Outsider has introduced millions of viewers around the world to the life and work of Bayard Rustin – a visionary strategist and activist who has been called “the unknown hero” of the civil rights movement. A Quaker, a disciple of Gandhi, a mentor to Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the architect of the 1963 March on Washington, Rustin dared to live as an openly gay man during the fiercely homophobic 1940s, 1950s and 1960s.

Long before Martin Luther King, Jr. became a national figure, Bayard Rustin routinely put his body — and his life — on the line as a crusader for racial justice. Rustin's commitment to pacifism and his visionary advocacy of Gandhian nonviolence made him a pioneer in the 1940s, and captured King's imagination in the 1950s. In 1963, with more than 20 years of organizing experience behind him, Rustin brought his unique skills to the crowning glory of his civil rights career: his work organizing the historic March on Washington, the biggest protest America had ever witnessed.

But Rustin was also seen as a political liability. He was openly gay during the fiercely homophobic era of the 40s and 50s; as a result, he was frequently shunned by the very civil rights movement he helped create. The compelling film Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin chronicles Rustin's complex life story, a tale of race, prejudice, and idealism at the heart of 20th century America. Though he had to overcome the stereotypes associated with being an illegitimate son, an African American, a gay man and a one-time member of the Communist Party, Rustin — the ultimate outsider — eventually became a public figure and respected political insider. He not only shaped civil rights movement strategy as a longtime advisor to Martin Luther King, Jr., but was known and respected by numerous U.S. Presidents and foreign leaders.

There will be a discussion after the screening. Refreshments will be served. 
This event is sponsored by the Cambridge Peace Commission and the Women’s International League for Peace

"Brother Outsider illuminates as never before Rustin’s fascinating public career and his equally intriguing private life. It is a film worthy of his valuable legacy." — Clayborne Carson, Stanford University, Director, Martin Luther King Papers Project 

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