This biography of Bayard Rustin for young readers depicts his life of nonviolent activism and resistance.
"Bayard Rustin did not spend his life trying to fit in. Instead, Bayard's fascinating life story is the saga of one man's struggle to make the world fit his vision of justice." — Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton
Bayard Rustin was a major figure in the Civil Rights movement. He was arrested on a bus thirteen years before Rosa Parks and he participated in integrated bus rides throughout the South fourteen years before the Freedom Riders. He was a mentor to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., teaching him the techniques and philosophy of Gandhian nonviolent direct action. He organized the March on Washington in 1963, one of the most impactful mobilizations in American history. Despite these contributions, few Americans recognize his name, and he is absent from most history books, in large part because he was gay. This biography traces Rustin’s life, from his childhood and his first arrest in high school for sitting in the “whites only” section of a theater, through a lifetime of nonviolent activism.
Intended for young audiences, with numerous photographs and sidebars, this book will also appeal to older readers who want to learn more about this fascinating man who sang on Broadway with Paul Robeson, was imprisoned for his activism and worked on a chain gang, advised Martin Luther King, and more. Bayard Rustin was a lifelong activist for peace and justice, a fearless nonviolent resistor whose story is inspiring, educational, and very relevant today.