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Eyes on Justice: A Look at Bayard Rustin

On Friday, approximately 20 HRC members and supporters joined HRC Arkansas for a screening of “Brother Outsider,” a documentary on the life of social justice warrior, Bayard Rustin. The movie night was part of HRC’s Black History Month celebrations around the U.S. highlighting important African American LGBTQ icons and their contributions to the civil rights movement.

Rustin, the organizer of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, was openly gay. While he was a key strategist who greatly influenced Martin Luther King Jr., he is often left out of civil right history.

The screening was followed by a discussion on intersectionality and Rustin’s legacy of connecting multiple struggles in his body of activism.  Throughout his lifetime, he worked to promote peace, economic justice, labor rights, and civil rights for African Americans and LGBTQ people. The discussion also highlighted the parallels between early strides for equality and the modern civil rights movements for LGBTQ people.

The screening and discussion came just a day after HRC Arkansas’ Central Arkansas Lobby Day. Many of the lobby day participants also joined the screening and were invited to continue their work for LGBTQ equality by hosting a house party, volunteering or recruiting new members.

Learn more about HRC’s work in Arkansas here.