"Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin"

Published Robbie - Sun, 09/01/2013 - 2:53pm

Bayard Rustin is best remembered as the organizer of the 1963 March on Washington, one of the largest nonviolent protests ever held in the United States. Despite this achievement, Rustin 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.

Today, the United States is still struggling with many of the issues Bayard Rustin sought to change during his long, illustrious career. His focus on civil and economic rights and his belief in peace, human rights and the dignity of all people remain as relevant today as they were in the 1950s and 60s. (from rustin.org)

Brother Outsider captures the full extent of Rustin's complex, 60-year career as an activist. The film contains rare archival footage, including impassioned debates between Rustin and Malcolm X as well as Rustin and Stokely Carmichael. In later years, Rustin continued to champion human rights--including gay rights--in campaigns around the globe. As King's aide and former U.N. ambassador Andrew Young recalls in the film, "His commitment to justice was always very strong and very consistent. It was easier when he had allies like Martin Luther King and A. Philip Randolph, but when they were gone, he didn't stop."

As a form of narration, Brother Outsider relies on Rustin's extensive FBI records, which become chilling commentaries on the government's political surveillance programs. In a 1948 FBI report, for example, American diplomats suggested that "a prominent American Negro should tour India to counteract the unfavorable impression made by Rustin." Whatever the circumstance--beaten, accused, shunned or celebrated--Rustin embraced the struggle with fearless dignity. Brother Outsider is an exuberant film about a passionate and tireless human being.

Runtime-83 minutes

Cost: 
$3-5 suggested donation
When:
Mon, 09/02/2013 - 7:00pm
Cost: 
$3-5 suggested donation