Bayard Rustin - African American social-political activist, organization official, and author.
Rustin was a pioneer of the civil rights movement in the United States and organized a wide range of protest demonstrations. As early as 1947 he engaged in the first "freedom ride" opposing racial segregation, and in 1963 he arranged the March on Washington for jobs and freedom in which civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered his nowfamous "I have a dream" speech.
In addition to his civil rights endeavors, Rustin participated in a wide variety of other activist efforts. As a conscientious objector, Rustin became executive secretary of the War Resisters' League following World War II, and he took part in the Free India Movement and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.
For both his pacifist and activist involvement, Rustin was arrested on numerous occasions and was imprisoned for an extended period of time. His concern with the injustices against all minorities and not just black people, coupled with his espousal of nonviolent tactics, also cost him the support of several militant black leaders who disagreed with his ideology that the problems of the black community were economicrather than race-related.
He was the author of "Down the Line: The Collected Works of Bayard Rustin" and "Strategies for Freedom: The Changing Patterns of Black Protest."
Rustin was cremated and his ashes are buried in an unmarked spot on an estate in Upstate New York.
Bio by: Warrick L. Barrett
Davis Page Platt