This event has been POSTPONED to October 8th at 1pm. It will still take place at our Conn Ave location.
While we can all recall images of Martin Luther King Jr. giving his "I Have a Dream" speech in front of a massive crowd at Lincoln Memorial, few of us remember the man who organized this watershed nonviolent protest in eight short weeks: Bayard Rustin.
This was far from Rustin's first foray into the fight for civil rights. As a world-traveling pacifist, he brought Gandhi's protest techniques to the forefront of US civil rights demonstrations, helped build the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, led the fight for economic justice, and played a deeply influential role in the life of Dr. King by helping to mold him into an international symbol of nonviolent resistance. Rustin's legacy touches many areas of contemporary life--from civil resistance to violent uprisings, democracy to socialism, and criminal justice reform to war resistance.
Despite these achievements, Rustin was often relegated to the background. He was silenced, threatened, arrested, beaten, imprisoned, and fired from important leadership positions, largely because he was an openly gay man in a fiercely homophobic era. With expansive, searching, and sometimes critical essays from a range of esteemed writers--including Rustin's own partner, Walter Naegle--this volume draws a full picture of Bayard Rustin: a gay, pacifist, socialist political radical who changed the course of US history and set a precedent for future civil rights activism, from LGBTQ+ Pride to Black Lives Matter.
Michael G. Long writes about civil rights, nonviolent protest, and gender and sexuality. He’s the editor of 42 Today: Jackie Robinson and His Legacy, as well as the author and editor of several books on Bayard Rustin, including Unstoppable: How Bayard Rustin Organized the 1963 March on Washington, Troublemaker for Justice: Bayard Rustin, the Man Behind the March on Washington, and I Must Resist: Bayard Rustin’s Life in Letters.
Long will be in conversation with Courtland Cox, who served on the executive committee of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). He served as the SNCC representative on the Steering Committee for the historic 1963 March on Washington and helped organize the 1964 Freedom Summer in Mississippi. Mr. Cox was one of the organizers of the Lowndes County Freedom Organization (LCFO), established in 1965 in Lowndes County, Alabama, which only had four registered African American voters despite being 80% Black. The LFCO’s work enabled Black residents to take control of the local government within four years. In the 1970s, Mr. Cox served as Secretary General of the Sixth Pan-African Congress in Tanzania, as well as on the Board of TransAfrica, which advocated for the end of South African apartheid. In more recent decades, Mr. Cox has served in a variety of local and federal government positions, including being appointed by President Clinton to serve as the Director of the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) at the U.S. Department of Commerce. He currently serves as board chair of the SNCC Legacy Project.