Friday, August 21, 2009

Black Man Fridays: Bayard Rustin

this is a clip from the documentary brother outsider: the life of bayard rustin. most of us know this brother as a tireless activist, a civil rights strategist and the architect of dr. king's march on washington. not many realize that mr. rustin's career spanned 60 years (he died in 1987), that he was actually dr. king's mentor - he was the one who turned dr. king on to ghandi - or that he led an openly gay life as far back as the 40s.

what i didn't know is that he had a beautiful tenor voice, went to college on music scholarships, performed regularly as a member of the blues group josh white and the carolinians at the infamous cafe society in greenwich village.

he was also from pennsylvania. and he was a quaker.

clearly, this is a biopic that is screaming to be made. i can't begin to imagine who in hollywood - especially black hollywood - that would have the balls to pull it off.

this is what you do when you get a little money, a little power as an actor: you start your production company and develop projects that give you a starring role and grow your career. waiting for the phone to ring shouldn't ever be an option. but hey, that's just me.

take a look at this video clip. i think mr. rustin was even more radical than malcolm x.

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