Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin

Nancy D. Kates in Conversation with Jerome Offord • Free for Harvard ID holders
Directed by Nancy D. Kates and Bennett Singer.
US, 2003, digital video, black & white, 83 min.
Copy source: Filmmaker

The film shares the journey and life of a civil rights trailblazer, activist and strategist who was excluded based on his decision to live authentically as an openly gay man. Organizing the first “freedom rides” in the 40s, the charismatic Rustin had a significant influence on Martin Luther King, Jr. He was the force behind Dr. King’s nonviolence movement and the pioneering catalyst behind the 1963 March on Washington, yet no one has heard of him. In his own time, he was arrested, threatened and denied his rightful position as a leader in the civil rights community. Brother Outsider attempts to help right this historical injustice by filling in the fascinating details and painting a vibrant, complicated portrait. After the film, we will have an interactive discussion focusing on Dr. King’s vision of the Beloved Community and the role of Mr. Rustin, often regarded as “the unknown hero of the civil rights movement.” – Jerome Offord

This screening is open to the public and free for those with a current Harvard ID.

Brother Outsider introduction and post-screening discussion with co-director Nancy D. Kates and Jerome Offord, Associate University Librarian for Antiracism. ©Harvard Film Archive

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