“Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin”
Film Documents the Life of An Overlooked Civil Rights Hero
Monday, February 26 - 6:30 p.m potluck, 7:30 film.- “Movies and Meaning”, Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin . Admission by donation, $7-$10 suggested.
Along with excellent music, theater and poetry, the White Horse Black Mountain has hosted many thought-provoking films. The most recent film series, “Movies and Meaning”, was founded as a way of gathering a dialog community around cinema that touches on themes of storytelling, healing, arts and justice. In celebration of African-American History Month, the next movie is Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin , which will be shown at the White Horse on Monday, February 26 at 7:30 p.m. There will be a potluck meal at 6:30 preceding the screening, and a discussion of the of the film after the movie.
For every iconic figure of the Civil Rights movement there were countless other working behind the scenes that helped effect profound change. One of the most influential was Bayard Rustin, a major figure whose name is largely unknown to the public. A lifelong activist for social justice, he helped spark Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s interest in Ghandian nonviolent resistance, was a key adviser and strategist, and a prime organizer of the historic 1963 March on Washington.
Despite his central role in the Movement, Bayard Rustin was also in many ways the ultimate outsider. He was illegitimate in a time when that carried a heavy stigma, a gay man in a fiercely homophobic era, and had pre-1941 ties to the Communist Party in Cold War America. Despite his accomplishments and effectiveness, he was viewed as a political liability and never became one of the more public faces of the Civil Rights era. He later became even more marginalized as he declined to embrace the more militant tactics of the Black Power movement and tilted toward a more neo-conservative philosophy.
In making Brother Outsider filmmaker Nancy Kates saw an opportunity to raise the profile of a neglected yet extraordinary man. “We wanted not only to correct that record but also examine what Rustin’s amazing life teaches us about issues of equality and the fight for social justice.” The 2003 documentary, which includes rare archival footage, explores Bayard Rustin’s sixty year history as an activist and the issues that forced him to remain in the background.