Bayard Rustin Honored by LGBT Group 50 Years After March on Washington



By Lilly Workneh (Article originally published on

Bayard Rustin was a key figure during the 1960s — he was a man who fought in social movements for both civil and gay rights.

As one of the few openly gay men active during the Civil Rights era, Rustin participated in the 1963 March on Washington and was the chief organizer of the historic event. The historic march took place 50 years ago this month. Rustin died in 1987 at the age of 75.

In light of the milestone anniversary, the National Black Justice Coalition — the nation’s top black lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization — are honoring Rustin with the Bayard Rustin 2013 Commemoration project.

“NBJC has implemented a multi-tiered strategy to garner Rustin the recognition he deserves,” reads the project’s mission statement. “By harnessing the power of the media, mobilizing [b]lack LGBT youth, and petitioning for the Presidential Medal of Freedom, NBJC is committed to keeping Rustin’s legacy alive.”

To add to their efforts, the NBJC is also hosting a commemorative event, titled “A Tribute to Bayard Rustin and the 50th Anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington.”

The event will show a clip from the documentary Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard RustinIt is scheduled to take place on August 26 in Washington, DC.

Follow Lilly Workneh on Twitter @Lilly_Works

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