(Photo Credits: Screengrab from Netflix’s Official YouTube Account)
“Thirty years ago, Gandhi walked to the sea, picked up a handful of salt, and inspired a movement that brought down an empire. The time has come for us to do the same. We are going to put together the largest peaceful protest in the history of this nation.” – Bayard Rustin
Bayard Rustin, a pivotal figure in the American civil rights movement, is often overlooked in the broader narrative of the struggle for equality. Yet, his contributions to the fight for justice, equality, and civil rights were profound and enduring. Rustin was a man who fought for civil rights and battled racism and homophobia, not to mention he was a close advisor to Martin Luther King, Jr. Bayard Rustin was a visionary activist, organizer, and advocate whose tireless efforts left an indelible mark on American history.
And this is what makes the film Rustin (2023) all the more important, it takes us back to a different time and help make us appreciate life today as we know it.
Directed by George C. Wolfe, Rustin was written by Julian Breece and Dustin Lance Black and stars Colman Domingo as Bayard Rustin.
The film Rustin zeroes in on the crucial months prior to the iconic 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. With an astounding turnout of approximately 250,000 participants, this event applied tremendous pressure that helped pave the way for the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act. Rustin’s leadership and organizational skills were instrumental in planning and coordinating what became one of the largest political demonstrations in American history at that time. The march highlighted the urgent demands for racial equality and economic justice that resonated widely across the nation.
Anyway, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a landmark piece of civil rights and US labor law legislation that outlawed major forms of discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
The official blurb of the film reads:
Architect of 1963’s momentous March on Washington, Rustin challenged authority and never apologized for who he was, but was forgotten despite making history. Rustin spotlights the man who, alongside Martin Luther King Jr., dared to imagine a different world and inspired a movement.
The film also stars Chris Rock (who played the role of Roy Wilkins), Glynn Turman (A. Philip Randolph), Aml Ameen (Martin Luther King, Jr.), Gus Halper (Tom), Johnny Ramey as Elias Taylor, and Audra McDonald as Ella Baker to name a few.
Rustin is now showing in select theaters and you can start streaming it on Netflix on November 17, 2023.