Brother Outsider: the Life of Bayard Rustin

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Ngoc Chu ENG-112-MH1 Professor Alexis Buckley November 5, 2013 A gold man hidden in the history sand Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin - a documentary film produced by Nancy Kates and Bennett Singer, presents a vivid drama, intermingling the personal and the political, about the intelligent, gregarious and charismatic Bayard Rustin - one of the first “freedom riders” in the U.S. The film successfully draws a complex portrait of a complex man, examines his contributions to human rights through nonviolent activism, other struggles for equality, including gay and racial justice. His first struggle in the film was for racial equality, right from he was very young. Film makers deftly quoted Rustin's real life experiences as an African American at that time: "Now when I was born in West Chester, Pennsylvania in 1912, there was not a single restaurant in this town that I could eat in. There was not a single theater in this town that I could go to" (Bayard Rustin). Along with his words, a scene of social injustice, racism was played, purposefully open up humiliation and surreptitious lives of black people back then. The film also has provocative interviews to show objective perspective such as when Dorothy Jackson - Rustin's childhood neighbor wondered why "we weren't supposed to sit with them but could all go to the same bathroom". That's such a clearly visibly unfair that black people couldn't sit with white people, they could only stand at the balcony of the theater, but could all go to the same bathroom with the whites. Another story in the film illuminates Rustin's fighting for racial justice - in a nonviolent way was in the early 40s, when he was travelling in Tennessee. Rustin sat toward the front of the bus, the bus driver told him to move. And he said "I cannot move". The police came and they started dragging Rustin out of his seat. He forced

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