Bayard Rustin

Louis Proyect lnp3 at
Tue Jan 14 07:42:51 MST 2003

I know that if your email is like mine, you often don't read things
until it is too late.

On January 20th, Monday, at 10 p.m. (check local listings) there will be
a 90 minute P.O.V. special called "Brother Outsider", the life of Bayard
Rustin. This is a PBS Premiere.

Bayard was my boss for some years when he worked at War Resisters
League, I knew him very well also from my years at Liberation magazine
(he was one of the editors), and was one of the two primary "mentors"
for my own politics (the other being A.J. Muste). Bayard's homosexuality
is in many ways central to this film and so it will be of special
interest to those in the gay/lesbian community. The fact he was black
will make it of interest to the community of color. He was an absolutely
key aide to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and a key figure in the American
pacifist movement.

Those interviewed during the program range from a neo-conservative
(Midge Dichter) to myself, and a number of others - Bayard's life
covered a wide range of people.

No film is complete, and this film can't cover in an hour and a half
Bayard's "drift" from a leading democratic radical to a
neo-conservative. Much is left out - his time at WRL, and FOR. However I
think the film did an excellent job at covering perhaps the most unique
person I have ever known.

I have seen the film (I was given a copy of it, so friends who can't
catch the Monday showing can talk to me).  It is very well done. It has
an impossible task of trying to sum up the life of Bayard, and came
close to doing it.

David McReynolds


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