Bayard Rustin was born in Pennsylvania in 1910. As a bright young man, he felt compelled to fight injustice. In 1947, he organized the first active protest against segregation on buses in the south.
By the late 50s, his expertise as a protest tactician caught the attention of Martin Luther King, Jr. Together, they planned the 1963 March on Washington, a 250,000-people-strong demonstration for racial equality, during which King delivered his "I have a dream" speech. The event proved pivotal to the civil rights movement.
As a result of Rustin's active protests, he endured beatings and was frequently jailed. And because he'd made no secret of being gay, he was often denied due credit for his brilliant leadership.
Clearly, in fighting for his strong convictions about civil rights, Bayard Rustin freely accepted personal sacrifice.
This Rainbow Minute is read by Viola Baskerville.