Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin
February 6 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm| Free
Bayard Rustin was born and raised in West Chester. He graduated from West Chester High School. Today, a plaque in his honor stands outside Henderson High School. During his 60-year career as an activist, organizer and “troublemaker,” Bayard Rustin formulated many of the strategies that propelled the American civil rights movement. His passionate belief in Gandhi’s philosophy of nonviolence drew Martin Luther King Jr. and other leaders to him in the 1940’s and 50’s; his practice of those beliefs drew the attention of the FBI and police. In 1963, Rustin brought his unique skills to the crowning glory of his civil rights career: his work organizing the March for Jobs and Freedom in Washington, the biggest protest America had ever seen. But his open homosexuality forced him to remain in the background, marking him again and again as a “brother outsider.” Brother Outsider: the Life of Bayard Rustin combines rare archival footage — some of it never before broadcast in the U.S. — with provocative interviews to illuminate the life and work of a forgotten prophet of social change. Update: On August 8, 2013, President Barack Obama named Bayard Rustin a posthumous recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor.