Bayard Rustin: American Dreamer (The African American by Jerald Podair

By Jerald Podair

Bayard Rustin was once a special 20th-century American radical voice. A gay, international warfare II draft resister, and ex-communist, Rustin made huge, immense contributions to the civil rights, socialist, hard work, peace, and homosexual rights pursuits within the usa, regardless of being considered as an intruder by way of fellow activists. writer Jerold Podair additionally comprises excerpts from Rustin's writings, speeches, letters, and statements, permitting the reader to achieve firsthand interplay with essentially the most vital civil rights leaders?and essentially the most vital radical leaders?in 20th-century American historical past.

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Extra resources for Bayard Rustin: American Dreamer (The African American History Series)

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That year Muste assumed the leadership of the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR), a pacifist group that had been founded in England during World War I and grew in the United States as a vehicle of antiwar protest. Primarily white and upper class in membership, it had been a comparatively staid organization when Muste assumed its leadership, committed to a narrowly gauged pacifism that stood for little more than a generalized opposition to war. Muste immediately set out to broaden FOR’s goals and vision.

It was not enough for Rustin, however. His agenda was much more ambitious. Rustin viewed Randolph’s cause as only one part of a larger struggle against war and for a new society based on principles of peace, equality, and brotherhood. Although as a civil rights activist Rustin could demand a desegregated military, as a pacifist he rejected the military altogether. S. armed forces was secondary to the evil of the armed forces themselves. Rustin announced that his campaign of civil disobedience would continue.

But as events transpired in the summer of 1948, it became clear they were not, leading to a lengthy personal estrangement and providing another example of the difficulties Rustin faced in reconciling his dreams. Although Randolph harbored pacifist sympathies, his primary goal was a racially integrated, economically egalitarian America. He criticized Truman harshly when the president signed a draft act in June that left segregation intact. He held rallies across the nation calling on African Americans to boycott the armed forces as long as they discriminated against them.

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