Bayard Rustin (1912-1987)
Beginning in the 1940s, Rustin spearheaded efforts to dismantle racial discrimination and segregation laws in the U.S. using Gandhian nonviolent methods. Convinced that these tactics could transform struggles for black American liberation and equality. Rustin organized and led civil disobedience actions across the country, including many of the first freedom rides and sit-ins. These pioneering acts would become the blueprints for major racial justice campaigns that advanced groundbreaking legislation and roused the national consciousness.
When Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. first emerged as a leader during the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955-56, Rustin introduced King to the foundations of nonviolent direct action. Rustin became a trusted mentor and advisor to King, and served the growing movement from behind the scenes as a strategist, writer, founder of key coalitions, and architect of major mobilizations.
In 1963, facing violent backlash and seeking a political
The era and its legacy are imbued with Rustin’s vision. With his influence, nonviolent resistance became the moral and strategic cornerstone of the Civil Rights Movement.
Throughout his rich and varied life, Rustin lent his talents and expertise to a diverse array of social causes ranging from global peace to economic justice, often alongside his mentor, civil rights and labor leader A. Philip Randolph.
Rustin was an openly and unapologetically gay black man in an era of intense discrimination. It took decades for Rustin to be recognized for his central roles in numerous fights for equality and human dignity.
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Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African Americans • Civil Rights.
Location. 40° 44.966′ N, 73° 59.867′ W. Marker is in New York, New York, in New York County. Marker is on West 28th Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Lamartine Place Historic District (within shouting distance of this marker); Church of the Holy Apostles (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Chelsea WW I Memorial (about 500 feet away); Hudson River Railroad (about 600 feet away); 1941 · Honor Roll · 1945 (approx. 0.2 miles away); Church of Saint Eleftherios (approx. 0.2 miles away); Farley Post Office (approx. 0.2 miles away); William Sloane Memorial Building (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New York.
Also see . . . Gay civil rights leader may finally be pardoned 67 years after he was... CNN article (Submitted on January 23, 2020, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.)
Additional keywords. LGBT LGBTQ
Credits. This page was last revised on January 23, 2020. It was originally submitted on May 23, 2019, by Rev. Ronald Irick of West Liberty, Ohio. This page has been viewed 155 times since then and 12 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on May 23, 2019, by Rev. Ronald Irick of West Liberty, Ohio. 5. submitted on May 24, 2019. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.