Bayard Rustin: Troubles I've Seen

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9780520214187: Bayard Rustin: Troubles I've Seen
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Here is the first biography of one of the most gifted strategists of the civil rights movement. Organizer of the 1963 march on Washington, Bayard Rustin played a significant role during this era of dramatic change in America.

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The famous "I Have a Dream" speech delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the 1963 March on Washington is deservedly remembered as the most potent moment of the civil rights struggle, but Bayard Rustin was the behind-the-scenes architect of that historic event. Rustin "had made significant contributions to a number of movements for African freedom and to the global struggle for human rights," Jervis Anderson notes, but "achieved no significant power in his career. Part of the reason was the breadth and variety of his political involvements." Rustin was a conscientious objector to World War II, worked with the pacifist Fellowship of Reconciliation, participated in A. Phillip Randolph's 1941 Washington protest march, and was a founding member of the Congress of Racial Equality. But another reason for his comparative obscurity is that many of his colleagues feared that public knowledge of his homosexuality would undermine the broader civil rights movement.

Anderson skillfully uncovers Rustin's complicated history, from his West Chester, Pennsylvania, birth in 1912 and black Quaker upbringing to his ideological move from communism to social democracy, and restores to public memory a vital career in the history of nonviolent social activism. Rustin summarized his philosophy for change by noting that "the major aspect of the struggle comes from without. If one gets out and begins to defend one's rights and the rights of others, spiritual growth takes place. One becomes in the process of doing, in the purifying process of action." --Eugene Holley Jr.

From the Publisher:

Bayard Rustin's influence on American culture is perhaps immeasurable. He played a key role in infusing the Civil Rights movement with the principles of nonviolence; one of the movement's ablest strategists, he was responsible for organizing two of its most momentous events.

In this biography, Jervis Anderson, who once worked with Rustin, describes the life of this leading Black intellectual from his imprisonment as a conscientious observer during WWII to his relationships with Dr. King, A. Philip Randolph, Roy Wilkins and Dorothy Height and the controversy he caused in his later years when he took issue with certain aspects of the Black Power movement. Written with the cooperation of Rustin's friends and colleagues, and with complete access to his personal papers, this is the definitive biography of one of the most important heroes of the Civil Rights movement.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780060167028: Bayard Rustin: Troubles I've Seen: A Biography

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ISBN 10:  0060167025 ISBN 13:  9780060167028
Publisher: HarperCollins, 1997
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