The Essential Man - Bayard Rustin

While a primary mentor of Martin Luther King Jr and organizer for the March On Washington Bayard Rustin of Pennsylvania found himself sidelined and edged out of history because of sexual preference. Bayard introduced Martin Luther King Jr to the principles of nonviolent protest of Mahatma Gandhi. He served as an early motivating force of King and the entire Civil Rights Movement But his life as a gay man and a gay activist complicated his relationship with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Under threat from fellow organizers of releasing a story about Bayard and King being gay lovers. King edged Bayard out of the inner circle. As a result Bayard's historical presence is a brief foot note in the history of the Civil Rights Movement.

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