Bayard Rustin



It's been a week of anger, anguish and heartbreak here in New York City. And across the country. Massive protests over George Loyd's murder under the knee of a police officer. had been met with repeated widespread violence by militarized police. The threat of active duty military being deployed to control citizens exercising their constitutional rights. The ongoing drumbeat of white supremacy coming from the White House. The People's House now, an embattled presidency fortress peaceful protesters described as terrorists. From day to day and hour to hour, I've been alternately sickened and heartened. Filled with despair, and then lifted up by the voices of people across the country, demanding revolutionary change because black lives matter. And making a history, we're proud and humbled to stand with them. All black lives matter. LGBTQ black lives matter. On Wednesday afternoon I was sitting at my desk and heard noise I couldn't identify coming through my open window. My partner born and I went outside to see what was going on. Thousands of protesters marching of Ninth Avenue as far as the I could see wearing masks, carrying signs and chanting. They were heading north, and in a few blocks be passing the apartment complex where fired Rushton once lived. He was a principal architect of the march on Washington for jobs and freedom. In August nine hundred and sixty three, a quarter of a million Americans massed in Washington D. C. at the foot of the Lincoln memorial to demand an end to state sanctioned racism. In this revisiting the archive episode, you'll hear buyers Rushton in his own words. In, addition to coordinating the nineteen sixty three march on Washington, fired was one of the organizers of the very first freedom ride through the American south in one, thousand, nine, hundred, forty seven. And was mentor to Dr. Martin Luther, King Junior from the time of the Montgomery bus boycott. Barred Rushton was a proud black gay man who paid a high price for proclaiming who he was long before. It was remotely safe to do so. He put himself in harm's way over and over again subjected to attacks by white supremacists who uses race and sexuality to try to destroy him. But not only resisted triumphed. You're about to hear. An interview fired rust and gave on February fifth nineteen, eighty, six a year and a half before he died. The reporter was young peg Byron who was freelancing for DC based GAY newspaper? The, Washington, Blade. Pay conducted the interview in buyers, office and Lower Park Avenue New, York City just across town from where he lived in Chelsea with his partner Walter Naegle. Walter was also buyers assistant, and you can hear the sound of him in the next room through much of the interview. It's thanks to Walter who recorded the conversation and save it for decades in a box under their bed that we're able to hear Byron speak in this rare interview about the impact of his sexuality on his work in the civil rights movement. So, let's join peg Byron admired rusting desk and listen to history from a man who changed its course. To know mind now, let's play all right. Walters doing some research. On me. Therefore, he tapes Manipur. Anybody else does that check on. Wall. With this shows is that. Stop now this is still going. has there ever been Some projects are involved. We're. Not, that being gay was necessarily an issue, but did you ever feel frustration about? I. You know I was an associate adopt live. Luther King's for a number of years. And actually I the person who drew up plans for his southern Christian leadership conference. Given. It was so much pressure on Dr. King's about my game. And particularly I would not be denied. That he set up a committee to explore whether you'd be changes, but To you working again? After eight years, that committee came decision would be dangerous. The Q. Midi seems eight years now. After I had worked for him. He's year. The! J. Edgar Hoover. Began to circulate all kinds of stories about Luther King. One which was? that he wants a friend of mine, hinting that somehow there might be some homosexual relationship going on between us.

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