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1 Burnside Gay and Lesbian- History and Biography

Lost Prophet: The Life and Times of Bayard Rustin

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Lost Prophet: The Life and Times of Bayard Rustin Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Bayard Rustin is one of the most important figures in the history of the American civil rights movement. Before Martin Luther King, before Malcolm X, Bayard Rustin was working to bring the cause to the forefront of America's consciousness. A teacher to King, an international apostle of peace, and the organizer of the famous 1963 March on Washington, he brought Gandhi's philosophy of nonviolence to America and helped launch the civil rights movement. Nonetheless, Rustin has been largely erased by history, in part because he was an African American homosexual. Acclaimed historian John D'Emilio tells the full and remarkable story of Rustin's intertwined lives: his pioneering and public person and his oblique and stigmatized private self.

It was in the tumultuous 1930s that Bayard Rustin came of age, getting his first lessons in politics through the Communist Party and the unrest of the Great Depression. A Quaker and a radical pacifist, he went to prison for refusing to serve in World War II, only to suffer a sexual scandal. His mentor, the great pacifist A. J. Muste, wrote to him, "You were capable of making the 'mistake' of thinking that you could be the leader in a revolution...at the same time that you were a weakling in an extreme degree and engaged in practices for which there was no justification."

Freed from prison after the war, Rustin threw himself into the early campaigns of the civil rights and anti-nuclear movements until an arrest for sodomy nearly destroyed his career. Many close colleagues and friends abandoned him. For years after, Rustin assumed a less public role even though his influence was everywhere. Rustin mentored a young and inexperienced Martin LutherKing in the use of nonviolence. He planned strategy for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference until Congressman Adam Clayton Powell threatened to spread a rumor that King and Rustin were lovers. Not until Rustin's crowning achievement as the organizer of the 1963 March on Washington would he finally emerge from the shadows that homophobia cast over his career. Rustin remained until his death in 1987 committed to the causes of world peace, racial equality, and economic justice.

Based on more than a decade of archival research and interviews with dozens of surviving friends and colleagues of Rustin's, "Lost Prophet" is a triumph. Rustin emerges as a hero of the black freedom struggle and a singularly important figure in the lost gay history of the mid-twentieth century. John D'Emilio's compelling narrative rescues a forgotten figure and brings alive a time of great hope and great tragedy in the not-so-distant past.

Synopsis:

One of the most important figures of the American civil rights movement, Bayard Rustin taught Martin Luther King Jr. the methods of Gandhi, spearheaded the 1963 March on Washington, and helped bring the struggle of African Americans to the forefront of a nation's consciousness. But despite his incontrovertibly integral role in the movement, the openly gay Rustin is not the household name that many of his activist contemporaries are. In exploring history's Lost Prophet, acclaimed historian John D'Emilio explains why Rustin's influence was minimized by his peers and why his brilliant strategies were not followed, or were followed by those he never meant to help.

About the Author

John DEmilio is professor of history and of gender and women's studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Policy director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, he is coauthor of Intimate Matters: A History of Sexuality in America, published by the University of Chicago Press, and author of The World Turned: Essays on Gay History, Politics, and Culture.

Table of Contents

Introduction

1. "Any Road Will Take You There," 1912-1934

2. "A Young Radical," 1934-1941

3. "A Way of Life," 1941-1943

4. "An Extremely Capable Agitator," 1944

5. "Hard and Bitter Experience," 1944-1946

6. "The Gadfly Which Has Stirred Men into Action," 1946-1947

7. "Mad Enough to Do Something Desperate," 1947-1948

8. "An Iron Lung of Militarism," 1948-1952

9. "Bayard's Trouble," 1952-1953

10. "I Can Again Be Useful," 1953-1955

11. "No Force on Earth Can Stop This Movement," 1955-1957

12. "More Going On Than Most People Would Gather," 1957-1959

13. "An Employee of Others," 1959-1960

14. "Ours Is Not a World-Shaking Project," 1960-1962

15. "One of the Great Days in American History," 1963

16. "On the Threshold of a New Political Movement," 1963-1964

17. "From Protest to Politics," 1964-1965

18. "In the Shadow of War," 1965-1967

19. "A Strategist Without a Movement," 1966-1968

20. "Freedom Is Never a Final Act," 1969-1987

Acknowledgments

Notes

Bibliography

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780226142692
Subtitle:
The Life and Times of Bayard Rustin
Author:
Demilio, John
Author:
D'Emilio, John
Publisher:
University Of Chicago Press
Subject:
People of Color
Subject:
History
Subject:
United States - General
Subject:
Homosexuality
Subject:
Ethnic Studies - African American Studies - Histor
Subject:
Political Freedom & Security - Civil Rights
Subject:
cultural heritage
Subject:
African Americans
Subject:
African Americans - Civil rights - History -
Subject:
Biography - General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
1
Publication Date:
20041001
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
37 halftones
Pages:
592
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Gay and Lesbian » History and Social Science » History and Biographies
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History and Social Science » US History » General

Lost Prophet: The Life and Times of Bayard Rustin New Trade Paper
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Product details 592 pages University of Chicago Press - English 9780226142692 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
One of the most important figures of the American civil rights movement, Bayard Rustin taught Martin Luther King Jr. the methods of Gandhi, spearheaded the 1963 March on Washington, and helped bring the struggle of African Americans to the forefront of a nation's consciousness. But despite his incontrovertibly integral role in the movement, the openly gay Rustin is not the household name that many of his activist contemporaries are. In exploring history's Lost Prophet, acclaimed historian John D'Emilio explains why Rustin's influence was minimized by his peers and why his brilliant strategies were not followed, or were followed by those he never meant to help.

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