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Sun Aug 25, 2013, 11:34 PM

Obama Awards Bayard Rustin the Presidential Medal of Freedom [View all]

This happened August 16, 2013 but I wanted to bring this to Light again in the BOG.

Civil rights leader Bayard Rustin is shown in his Park Avenue South office in New York City, in April 1969. (AP Photo/A. Camerano)


"On Thursday, the White House announced that Bayard Rustin, the trailblazing civil rights activist, will be posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States.

The timing couldn’t be better. Rustin was a key advisor to Martin Luther King and the primary organizer of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom — a job he seemed to have prepared for all his life. Many Americans will be celebrating that event’s 50th anniversary on August 28, and insisting that the country complete the march’s unfinished business of economic justice, full employment, voting rights, and equal opportunity.

Honoring Rustin with the Medal of Freedom tells us something about how far America has come as a nation in the past 50 years. After all, he had four strikes against him. He was a pacifist, a radical, black and gay. Controversy surrounded him all his life.

From the 1940s through the 1960s, Rustin marshaled his considerable talents — as an organizer, strategist, speaker and writer — to challenge the economic and racial status quo. Always an outsider, he helped catalyze the civil-rights movement with courageous acts of resistance. Rustin was a brilliant thinker and strategist, but given his political liabilities as a gay, black, radical pacifist, he also relied on his incredible charm to win converts to the causes of peace and civil rights. A remarkable tenor, he frequently sang gospel and blues songs for his audiences. Had he not become an organizer, he could have become a popular entertainer."

There's more.. and it's facinating..

"Bayard Rustin: PA Native, Unsung Hero of the 1963 March on Washington, Lifelong Activist"


In his own day, Bayard Rustin was a minority within a minority who tirelessly agitated for change, spending nights in jail opposing U.S. policy at home and abroad. He was an African American fighting against segregation, a gay man fighting against homophobia, and a pacifist fighting against endless warfare. Rustin was a key adviser to Dr. Martin Luther King and introduced him to Gandhi’s teachings on nonviolence. He helped Dr. King start the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957. Six years later, Bayard Rustin was the chief organizer of the historic 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, rallying hundreds of thousands of people for economic justice, full employment, voting rights and equal opportunity. … In later years, Bayard Rustin spoke publicly about the importance of equal rights for gay men and lesbians, suggesting it was the new frontier of the civil rights movement. On August 24, 1987, Bayard Rustin died of a perforated appendix. He was survived by Walter Naegle, his partner of 10 years.

There's more..

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Reply Obama Awards Bayard Rustin the Presidential Medal of Freedom [View all]
Cha Aug 2013 OP
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