Bayard Rustin: Behind the Scenes of the Civil Rights Movement

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9780786821402: Bayard Rustin: Behind the Scenes of the Civil Rights Movement
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A biography of Bayard Rustin, a skillful organizer behind the scenes of the American civil rights movement whose ideas stongly influenced Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Gr. 5^-8. With his reputation clouded by the triple whammy of belonging to the Communist Party as a young man, being a homosexual, and being repeatedly imprisoned, Bayard Rustin is relatively unknown even though his organizational skills and commitment to nonviolent protest shaped the civil rights movement. In exploring the life and work of this African American leader, Haskins highlights and personalizes 50 years of American history in which black people fought for and attained protection for their civil rights. The author adeptly seeks out the forces that shaped Rustin's beliefs--among them, his grandmother who raised him as a Quaker--and describes the evolution of Rustin's political activism. Sensitive to hatred of all kinds, Rustin remained dedicated to nonviolence throughout his life, spending years in prison for refusing to fight in World War II and eventually teaching Gandhi's principles of nonviolence as a protest tactic to Martin Luther King Jr. The leader's crowning achievement was organizing the 1963 March on Washington. Haskins not only gives enough personal information to flesh out his subject (Rustin was a talented musician and skilled collector) but also presents each historical event with nuance, fairness, and clarity. Obviously an excellent resource for reports, this is also a moving, inspirational story. Susan Dove Lempke

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Grade 8 Up. Haskins skillfully blends details of his subject's life and work with descriptions of the civil rights struggle. Rustin's own words complement the portrait of this man who devoted his life to advancing the cause of equal rights for blacks in the U.S. and supporting victims of oppression all over the world. Recalling his early life and the influence of his Quaker grandmother, the book goes on to discuss Rustin's close relationships with A. Philip Randolph and Martin Luther King, Jr., as well as his belief in nonviolent means to affect change. The 1963 March on Washington, which he organized, was not supported by everyone with whom he worked, and he was often seen as more of a liability than as an asset to the movement because of his open homosexuality. Rustin consistently triumphed over his objectors and finally a book is available to attest to his contributions. An insert of fine-quality, black-and-white photos enhances the presentation. A well-written, well-documented biography and an enlightening look at the civil rights movement.?Carol Fazioli, Cardinal Hayes Library, Manhattan College, NY
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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9780786801688: Bayard Rustin: Behind the Scenes of the Civil Rights Movement

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ISBN 10:  0786801689 ISBN 13:  9780786801688
Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children, 1996
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