Bayard Rustin: Unknown Hero of Civil Rights

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SMC 2302-g | African-American Gandhi | Bayard Rustin: Unknown Hero of Civil Rights | | Tyrell Perkins | 11/19/2012 | We need, in every community, a group of angelic troublemakers. – Bayard Rustin | The civil rights movement refers to the reform movement in the United States from 1954 to 1968, led primarily by Blacks, to outlaw racial discrimination against African-Americans. For ten decades after the Emancipation Proclamation, African-Americans in Southern states still lived a rigid, unequal world of deprived rights of citizenship, segregation, and various forms of oppression, including race-inspired violence. The nonviolent protest and civil disobedience were used by the civil rights activists to bring change. Many leaders within the Black community and beyond distinguished during the Civil Rights era, including Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Andrew Goodman and leaders of Christian organizations. When one thinks of the civil rights movement, names such as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X, or even Rosa Parks, do commonly arise. These are some great names in civil rights, but there are other people that aren’t talked about as much as MLK, Malcolm, or Rosa. One of those people is Bayard Rustin. Bayard Rustin, an openly gay black man, helped introduce Gandhian nonviolence to the African-American civil rights movement. His pacifism landed him in jail for refusing to participate in World War II. While in jail, he organized protests against the segregated seating in the dining halls (Spartacus). He was part of the first Freedom Rides in 1947, helped to found the Congress for Racial Equality, and was National Field Secretary for the Fellowship of Reconciliation. Following his release from prison, Rustin began to travel widely, giving speeches on discrimination and other issues. While on a tour of North Carolina, he provoked another arrest for
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