Building Bridges Through Revolutionary Nonviolence: Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom
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Building Bridges Through Revolutionary Nonviolence: Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom

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2012 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of civil rights icon Bayard Rustin, and many groups—from the Quaker-based American Friends Service Committee and inter-faith Fellowship of ...

2012 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of civil rights icon Bayard Rustin, and many groups—from the Quaker-based American Friends Service Committee and inter-faith Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR) to the labor federation AFL-CIO to countless educational institutions—are engaged in celebrating this man of humble beginnings. The National Black Justice Coalition, the nation’s leading organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people, has dedicated Mandy Carter, a long-time community leader, to coordinate Centennial activities in recognition of the ground-breaking work of Rustin as an out gay man.
Rustin, however, was more than simply a campaigner for individual liberties—be they for Black or gay folks. He was a revolutionary critic of the status quo, one whose commitment to radical pacifism and ability to bring together broad and often conflicting peoples made a mark still very relevant today. This slideshow, put together by the War Resisters League (WRL, for whom Rustin served as Executive Secretary from 1953 till 1965—including the period when he was chief architect of the historic 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom), focuses on this radical bridge-building aspect of Rustin’s life.

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Building Bridges Through Revolutionary Nonviolence: Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Building Bridges through Revolutionary NonviolenceBayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom
  • 2. Building Bridges through Revolutionary Nonviolence- Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom 2012 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of civil rights icon Bayard Rustin, and many groups—from the Quaker-based American Friends Service Committee and inter-faith Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR) to the labor federation AFL-CIO to countless educational institutions—are engaged in celebrating this man of humble beginnings. The National Black Justice Coalition, the nation’s leading organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people, has dedicated Mandy Carter, a long-time community leader, to coordinate Centennial activities in recognition of the ground-breaking work of Rustin as an out gay man. Rustin, however, was more than simply a campaigner for individual liberties—be they for Black or gay folks. He was a revolutionary critic of the status quo, one whose commitment to radical pacifism and ability to bring together broad and often conflicting peoples made a mark still very relevant today. This slideshow, put together by the War Resisters League (WRL, for whom Rustin served as Executive Secretary from 1953 till 1965—including the period when he was chief architect of the historic 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom), focuses on this radical bridge-building aspect of Rustin’s life: Building Bridges through Revolutionary Nonviolence—Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom
  • 3. Bayard Rustin andthe future of Peaceand FreedomConscientious Objectionand the early Civil RightsMovement:1940s-early ‘50s
  • 4. Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom-Conscientious Objection and the early Civil Rights Movement  Like many of the early civil rights leadership, Rustin’s roots were in the aftermath of WWII—when many returning African American veterans found that the freedoms they had fought for in Europe were still denied to them at home. Rustin, however, a pacifist since his Quaker youth, was one of many Conscientious Objectors (C.O.s) who began their fight against segregation in the prison halls where committed C.O.s spent the war.
  • 5. Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom-Conscientious Objection and the early Civil Rights Movement  The 1947 Journey of Reconciliation, organized by the newly-founded Congress on Racial Equality (CORE) and recognized as the predecessor of the 1960s Freedom Ride movement, was coordinated by Rustin and fellow WWII C.O. George Houser, both of whom were on FOR staff at the time. Other WWII C.O.s played key roles in the initial Journey, including WRL stalwarts Igal Roodenko, Jim Peck, Wally Nelson and Ernest Bromley (all pictured here).
  • 6. Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom-Conscientious Objection and the early Civil Rights Movement  Even in 1948, the significance of the Journey was understood in progressive circles.
  • 7. Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom-Conscientious Objection and the early Civil Rights Movement  CORE and the FOR produced WE CHALLENGED JIM CROW!— a booklet co- authored by Rustin and Houser on their reflections about the Journey.
  • 8. Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom-Conscientious Objection and the early Civil Rights Movement  The “Racial-Industrial” section of the FOR held a Song Festival to raise funds for ongoing civil rights work, which included the voices of Rustin, Houser, and their WWII C.O. buddy, fellow African-American activist Bill Sutherland.
  • 9. Bayard Rustin andthe future of Peaceand Freedom-Revolutionary Movementin Africa and Asia;McCarthyism andReaction in America:1950s
  • 10. Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom- Revolutionary Movement in Africa and Asia; McCarthyism and Reaction in America  Rustin’s late 1940s racial justice work in the U.S. was part and parcel of an international peace movement for the liberation of all. Rustin travelled to India in 1948 (just weeks after Gandhi’s assassination) and met with Prime Minister Nehru. Together with Sutherland and Houser, he helped form the first U.S. organization in solidarity with the African independence movements.
  • 11. Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom- Revolutionary Movement in Africa and Asia; McCarthyism and Reaction in America  While in India, Rustin obtained this Free India Cap, the badge of honor worn by those arrested during the struggle for independence. 15 years later, as he was coordinating the Great March for Jobs and Freedom at the Lincoln Memorial, Rustin designed a similar cap for campaign marshals to wear.
  • 12. Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom- Revolutionary Movement in Africa and Asia; McCarthyism and Reaction in America  In 1953, as Bill Sutherland was moving to the Gold Coast to assist the African independence movements, Rustin also met with the leading Pan-Africanists of the day, including Kwame Nkrumah (pictured here).
  • 13. Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom- Revolutionary Movement in Africa and Asia; McCarthyism and Reaction in America  Rustin met with other African leaders, including Zambian leader Kenneth Kaunda, who— like Rustin—was an admirer of U.S. pacifist elder A.J. Muste, and Nigerian nationalist (soon- to-be President of the First Republic, pictured here) Nnamdi “Zik” Akiziwe.
  • 14. Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom- Revolutionary Movement in Africa and Asia; McCarthyism and Reaction in America  Throughout the early 1950s, Rustin was a much-in-demand speaker, on nonviolence, equal rights and the freedom movement in the South, and “Africa in Revolt!”
  • 15. Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom- Revolutionary Movement in Africa and Asia; McCarthyism and Reaction in America  Rustin was one of the international participants in the West African-based Sahara Protest Team, which challenged French nuclear testing by their physical presence on the test sites.Top Row, l. to r.: Unidentified Ghanaian activist; Bill Sutherland; Rustin; unidentified; British Campaign forNuclear Disarmament (CND) founder and WRI Chair Michael Randle. Bottom Row, l. to r.: British artist FrancisHoyland; Ghanaian E.C.Quaye, Chairman of the Accra Municipal Council, and of Ghana CND; French volunteerEsther Peter; unidentified; Guyanese Pan-African Congress organizer T. Ras Makonnen.
  • 16. Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom- Revolutionary Movement in Africa and Asia; McCarthyism and Reaction in America  Late in 1953, however, Rustin’s life would take another turn. Rustin was arrested for “sexual perversion”—as consensual homosexual activity was referred to in California at that time. He was promptly asked to resign from his position at the Fellowship of Reconciliation.
  • 17. Bayard Rustin andthe future of Peaceand FreedomWar Resistanceand Homophobia:WRL’s Hiring ofBayard Rustin
  • 18. Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom-War Resistance and Homophobia: WRL’s Hiring of Rustin  Shortly after his resignation from FOR, War Resisters League Chairman Roy Finch sent this memo to the WRL Executive Committee and National Advisory Council, proposing Rustin as the candidate of choice to replace Sid Aberman as WRL Executive Secretary. Finch noted the extensive experience Rustin acquired through his work in the pacifist movement, as well as some of Rustin’s other significant accomplishments.
  • 19. Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom-War Resistance and Homophobia: WRL’s Hiring of Rustin  The proposal was met with strong feelings— both positive and negative. One WRL advisor, a Professor of Psychology at Roosevelt College, wrote in the clinical terms of the day that “Bayard’s malady” was a “particularly obdurate one,” in great need of “persistent vigilance” and “preventative hygiene” to prevent a relapse.  Another advisor, however—Dr. Herbert Kellman of John Hopkins University (subsequently a leading figure at Harvard University’s Department of Psychology)— had the forethought to state that “it would be a shame for the pacifist movement to waste the talents, skills, and experience that Bayard has.” Kellman added his professional opinion, calling into question popular medical jargon, that there was “little question that Bayard will be able to handle the job successfully despite his so- called ‘emotional problems.’”
  • 20. Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom-War Resistance and Homophobia: WRL’s Hiring of Rustin  Frances Witherspoon, who had (with her partner Tracy Mygatt) helped Jessie Wallace Hughan found the WRL in 1923, addressed some of her concerns with hiring Rustin.  She wrote: I have learned that the psychological and physical trouble from which he suffers is not a recent one, but of fairly long standing, and I do not feel that the recent regrettable episode is far enough in the past—actually but a few months—for his psychiatrist or Bayard himself to be able to guarantee that there will be no recurrence.
  • 21. Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom-War Resistance and Homophobia: WRL’s Hiring of Rustin  Fellow WWII C.O. and Libertarian Press and Workers Cooperative member Dave Dellinger (who would go on to be a leader in the major 1960s anti-Vietnam War coalitions) wrote a prescient letter, noting that “the power of nonviolence” works differently than that of lowest- common-denominator electoral politics, but rather “through dedicated people.” Critical of the FOR’s handling of Bayard’s sexual orientation, Dellinger saw the need for a “grassroots, dynamic pacifism,” which Rustin could bring with his “exceptional talents and dedication.” In his four-page, single-spaced letter to the Executive, Dellinger stated: I would rather take a chance of losing a thousand votes and winning a hundred pacifists, by having Bayard work for us.
  • 22. Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom-War Resistance and Homophobia: WRL’s Hiring of Rustin  An open letter addressed to the Executive Committee and Advisory Council members explained the official vote count procedures for the hiring of Bayard Rustin: he was to be hired as War Resisters League Executive Secretary.  The official vote count was twenty-four in favor and five in opposition.
  • 23. Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom-War Resistance and Homophobia: WRL’s Hiring of Rustin These original notes were taken during the official vote count, tallying the numbers needed to hire Bayard Rustin. He began work as the WRL Executive Secretary in October 1953.
  • 24. Bayard Rustinand the future ofPeace andFreedomTumultuous Times:1953-1960
  • 25. Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom- Tumultuous Times: 1953-1960 Though Rustin’s early years with the WRL provide evidence for both a personal desire to remain connected with the rest of the mainstream peace movement and the difficulties inherent in that position, his steadfast commitment to radical nonviolence and human rights remained strong. Rustin was a key co-author of the widely- read and influential 1955 American Friends Service Committee booklet, Speak Truth to Power: A Quaker Search for an Alternative to Violence, but his name was deliberately omitted because of the earlier scandal. In time for Rustins Centenary, the AFSC has reprinted the book with acknowledgement and credit to Rustin.
  • 26. Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom- Tumultuous Times: 1953-1960  Under the leadership of A.J. Muste, and working with Dave Dellinger, Barbara Deming, David McReynolds, and many others, Rustin became a key founder of Liberation magazine, an important tool throughout the 1950s and 60s in connecting the peace and freedom movements.  This letter by Rustin and Roy Finch notes the potential revolutionary and ground- breaking role which Liberation magazine could have in local community organizing.
  • 27. Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom- Tumultuous Times: 1953-1960  Liberation‘s early issues wasted no time in using Rustin’s contacts in the South to spotlight the growing civil rights campaigns which were shaking the nation.  This second issue, from April 1956, featured Rustin and the man he was spending more and more time advising— Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • 28. Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom- Tumultuous Times: 1953-1960 More than six months later, Dr. King’s writings returned to Liberation—along with the commentary of Eleanor Roosevelt, Ralph Bunche, trade unionist A. Philip Randolph and others— in reports on the ongoing bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama
  • 29. Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom- Tumultuous Times: 1953-1960  Montgomery, Alabama became the first of a series of War Resisters League- produced-and-distributed booklets by Rustin highlighting the significance of the growing protests to end Jim Crow Laws. In it, he reiterated that the resistance to discrimination was much more than a series of “senseless acts of civil disobedience”; the actions were to call attention to the “permanently de- institutionalizing racism” still present in U.S. life.  In a preface to the pamphlet, Unitarian minister Homer Jack noted that Rustin’s “contribution to interpreting the Gandhian approach to leadership cannot be overestimated.”
  • 30. Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom- Tumultuous Times: 1953-1960  This 1957 booklet Non-Violence in the South, also authored by Rustin and produced by WRL, outlined the deepening nonviolent resistance to racial segregation.
  • 31. Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom- Tumultuous Times: 1953-1960  A 1959 WRL Fund Appeal shows some of the ways in which Rustin consistently built bridges between people and issues—outlining the connections between Cold War Eisenhower-Khrushchev talks and the growing struggle in the South to articulate the power of nonviolence.  Writing about the “vast changes” taking place, Rustin commented on the issue of armed self-defense raised by a nationally-publicized incident involving NAACP leader Robert F. Williams, noting that he and the WRL had helped arrange the first public discussion of the subject, “one of the hottest issues of today.”
  • 32. Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom- Tumultuous Times: 1953-1960 Rustin and the WRL also helped give voice to the debate by publishing articles in Liberation by Williams, Dr. King, and Catholic Worker founder Dorothy Day. As Williams and others were asking whether “Negroes” could still afford to be pacifists, Dellinger raised the question to his white colleagues: “Are pacifists willing to be Negroes?,” standing in solidarity with those on the front lines of the struggle.
  • 33. Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom- Tumultuous Times: 1953-1960  Civil Rights issues were just one of Rustin’s work areas while an active WRL staff member. He helped coordinate the 1960-61 “Walk To Moscow,” a peace effort that involved marching across Western Europe towards the Eastern “iron curtain.”
  • 34. Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom- Tumultuous Times: 1953-1960  By 1960, however, the work in the South was too pressing to have Rustin remain at WRL headquarters in New York. With the intervention of A. Philip Randolph, whose Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters was amongst the first unions to successfully organize Black workers, Rustin was asked to work directly as a full-time advisor to Dr. King.  This 1960 letter from Randolph to WRL Chair Eddie Gottlieb thanked the WRL for enabling Rustin to go on leave from WRL to fulfill the “supremely important assignment … in the interest of civil rights.” A letter to WRL from Dr. King also reiterated his gratitude, stating that “we are convinced that Bayard’s expertness [in nonviolence] will be of inestimable value in our future efforts.”
  • 35. Bayard Rustinand the futureof Peace andFreedomFront Lines:1960-1965
  • 36. Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom Front Lines: 1960-1965  The early 1960s were more than intense, with Rustin maintaining a role in WRL while working to establish and broaden the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (which he, Ella Baker, King, and others helped found). Rustin utilized WRL as a major vehicle to help mobilize support from Northern whites.
  • 37. Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom Front Lines: 1960-1965  With both a deep commitment to revolutionary nonviolence and a desire to maintain dialogue with the leaders of the day, Rustin took part in a 1962 debate with Minister Malcolm X, discussing their differences regarding strategy and tactics. Many reported that this debate was one of the best matched of either men’s careers—with both of them expressing intelligent, passionate, and important insights on the way forward.
  • 38. Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom Front Lines: 1960-1965  The Meaning of Birmingham, authored by Rustin and produced by WRL, was a key tool in organizing support for a March on Washington which Rustin had been tasked with coordinating. This March for Jobs and Freedom had been talked about by Randolph and others for years, but it seemed that in August of 1963 it might really take place.
  • 39. Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom Front Lines: 1960-1965The Great March on Washington of August 28, 1963 has come to be known for theconvergence of 300,000 people in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial. Thoughthe morning newspapers wrote of the radical words of Student NonviolentCoordinating Committee spokesperson John Lewis, it was the triumphant “I HaveA Dream” speech of Dr. King which would live on in people’s minds.
  • 40. Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom Front Lines: 1960-1965  The subsequent issue of LIFE Magazine featured March architect, Rustin, and his mentor A. Philip Randolph on the cover—catapulting both into the national spotlight. The issue also noted the “flames of fury” which were engulfing a far-away land known as Vietnam…
  • 41. Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom Front Lines: 1960-1965  Back in New York, WRL, Liberation magazine, and the Socialist Party co-sponsored a talk at the Community Church on a follow-up to the March. Rustin joined author James Baldwin, whose book-length essay, The Fire Next Time, was beginning to receive widespread attention.
  • 42. Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom Front Lines: 1960-1965  Rustin heightened his collaborations with other labor unions, most notably New York’s United Federation of Teachers (who had recently won some major collective bargaining victories). The 1964 New York City Schools Boycott saw a one- day collaboration between parents, teachers, peace activists, and members of the Black and Puerto Rican communities in a massive 450,000-strong stay-away in support of desegregation.  Pictured here with UFT leader Al Shanker, Rustin’s work with teachers would become an ongoing commitment for the rest of his life.
  • 43. Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom Front Lines: 1960-1965  In this April 1964 WRL Fund Appeal (with a photo of Ralph DiGia just after a month in a Georgia prison following a racially-integrated Quebec- Washington-Guantánamo Peace Walk), Rustin noted that “one of the most urgent problems in the peace movement today is how to ‘relate’ the issue of peace to the other great social issues of our day — Civil Rights, unemployment, automation.”
  • 44. Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom Front Lines: 1960-1965  By November 1965, however, with union leaders and civil rights associates urging greater involvement in electoral campaigns—and many in the peace movement now focusing on sharp protests against the escalating war in Vietnam—Rustin formally resigned from his WRL positions.  He was to begin work at a new venue set up by and named after his mentor: the A. Philip Randolph Institute.
  • 45. Bayard Rustin andthe future of Peaceand FreedomFrom Protestto Politics:1965-1970s
  • 46. Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom From Protest to Politics  As many became increasingly disenfranchised by US government policies, Rustin asserted that the only path to freedom was through mainstream economic alliances. Pictured here with Baldwin and United Auto Workers President Walter Reuther, Rustin continued to pursue work with the American Federation of Labor (AFL-CIO).
  • 47. Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom From Protest to Politics Despite this, in 1965 Rustin was still speaking out forcefully against the war in Vietnam. In a speech delivered at the Madison Square Garden rally organized by peace group SANE, Rustin defiantly stated that, “though Congress refuses to admit it, we are at war. It is a useless, destructive, disgusting war.” Recently published for the first time, the speech is included in WRL and PM Press’ We Have Not Been Moved: Resisting Racism and Militarism in 21st Century America.
  • 48. Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom From Protest to Politics  Despite the widening divide between Rustin and his old pacifist comrades, he also maintained a connection with many old friends, evidenced in this 1966 note to WRL’s Ralph DiGia, where he agrees to serve on the WRL Advisory Board.
  • 49. Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom From Protest to Politics  In 1973, Rustin and A. Philip Randolph also agreed to serve as members of WRL’s 50th Anniversary Celebration Committee.
  • 50. Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom From Protest to Politics But the dramas and the traumas of the time proved too great; for many years Rustin would have little contact with the radical pacifists so central to his early life. This note, written to Bill Sutherland in Tanzania just weeks after the assassination of Dr. King, has Rustin admitting to feeling “too discombobulated” to write. “Martin’s death leaves a fantastic vacuum that nobody-not me and ten others combined-could fill.”
  • 51. Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom From Protest to Politics For much of the 1970s and early 80s, Rustin’s domestic efforts were focused on work with the Randolph Institute; his international work included leadership roles in the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and Freedom House. Pictured while in Thailand with Norwegian actress/director and IRC supporter Liv Ullman, Rustin’s work with the Vietnamese “Boat People” (and other anti-communist refugees who accepted support from the U.S. government) seemed out of step to many of his previous colleagues.
  • 52. Bayard Rustin andthe future of Peaceand FreedomCircles andBridges
  • 53. Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom Circles and Bridges By the mid-1980s, Rustin began reconnecting with his pacifist comrades, attending, for example, a War Resisters International conference in India. These radical reunions brought Rustin full-circle, back to old friends and the methodology he helped popularize. With Igal Roodenko With Michael Randle
  • 54. Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom Circles and Bridges  Under the auspices of the A. Philip Randolph Institute, Rustin helped found Project South Africa—with patrons including Archbishop Desmond Tutu (top left).  At the WRI conference in India, he (and his partner Walter Naegle, center) met activists from the Council of Churches, Black Sash, and the newly-formed End Conscription Campaign— a nonviolent grassroots organization which Rustin provided considerable support to.
  • 55. Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom Circles and Bridges  In 1986, Rustin built bridges to one community he had long been associated with, but rarely engaged in political work for: the burgeoning Gay and Lesbian rights movement.  This GCN cover story made Rustin’s position clear: the Black and Gay movements must work together if victories are to be won!
  • 56. Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom Circles and Bridges By the time Bayard turned 75, with all the roads he had travelled, all the bridges amongst diverse and often divergent people he had built, it truly was a cause for celebration. The Hilton ballroom was filled with anarchists and mainstream politicians; messages came from former U.S. Presidents and foreign dignitaries.
  • 57. Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom Circles and Bridges  Alongside his aunt, Rustin blew out the candles accompanied by Holocaust survivor and author Elie Wiesel, who had been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize just a few months earlier.
  • 58. Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom Circles and Bridges And then he was gone… This high-spirited, flamboyant, funny, brilliant, challenging soul force — this strong and courageous spirit who seemed always filled with energy and passion — passed away due to a heart attack, less than six months after his birthday dinner.
  • 59. Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom Circles and Bridges An organizer till the very end, his life partner Walter Naegle made sure that each memorial program spotlighted the words which summarized Rustin’s undying outlook:I pledge that I will join and supportall actions undertaken in good faithand in accord with time-honoreddemocratic traditions of nonviolentprotest or peaceful assembly andpetition…I will pledge my heart andmy mind and my body,unequivocally and without regard topersonal sacrifice to theachievement of social peace throughsocial justice.
  • 60. Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and FreedomBuilding Bridges through Revolutionary Nonviolence  More than 25 years after Bayard Rustin’s death and 100 years since his birth, Rustin is still iconized and idolized by some, demonized and criticized by others. Yet some of his most pressing concerns—that any rights-based freedom movement must understand its related economic issues—are as prescient now as ever before. And his preferred strategic method—massive, nonviolent resistance— is as relevant now as it was then. It is time to recognize Rustin in the context of his own time, and build our own strategic bridges to the future.
  • 61. Bayard Rustin and the future of Peace and Freedom Building Bridges through Revolutionary Nonviolence This slideshow was researched, drawn from the archives of, written, edited and produced by• Matt Meyer, War Resisters League National Committee member• Nkese ‘Nikki’ Rankine, Bilezikian Intern (Winter/Spring 2012) • Kimber Heinz, WRL National Organizing Coordinator With Support from and Special Thanks to • Linda Thurston, WRL Office Coordinator • Walter Naegle, long-time partner of Bayard Rustin; estate executor • Sky Hall, WRL Archivist • Wendy Chmielewski, Curator, Swarthmore College Peace Collection • Mandy Carter, Rustin Centennial Coordinator; co-founder of the National Black Justice Coalition (http://nbjc.org/) A project of the War Resisters League www.warresisters.org