Brother Outsider: The story of Bayard Rustin
‘THE PROOF THAT ONE TRULY BELIEVES IS IN ACTION.’ BAYARD RUSTIN
On June 14th, we held our first public event, a screening of Brother Outsider at The RADA Studios. Brother Outsider tells the story of Bayard Rustin who was African American, Communist, gay, pacifist and a phenomenal organiser of the US civil rights movement. He was an anglophile and visited the UK over 20 times, helping to organise the Aldermaston Marches and campaign for our race relations laws. We were joined at the screening by the film’s co-director, Bennett Singer who left a message for Journey to Justice.
The turnout, discussion and feedback was excellent.
‘Journey to Justice is an inspiring project – and the Bayard Rustin film was a fitting first public event to launch your important efforts to build support for the movement for social justice in the UK and globally.
The film showed powerfully that understanding and learning from the past is a much more sustainable way to build and create social change. Rustin learned from his grandmother the ways of peaceful protest, he learned from Gandhi about how to conduct an effective civil disobedience campaign. He knew it was his human right to be gay and insisted on being open about his sexual orientation, long before this was socially acceptable, and paid personal and political costs for doing so. He advised others, including Martin Luther King, based on his own learning and built a clear vision based on his strategic thought, his experience, clarity and integrity. He showed the way through walking the talk in every way, including pointing out where others were wrong.
So much of our current experience of showing support for social issues is through ‘clicktivist’ campaigns – misguiding people that change can be delivered by signing up to an online petition. Such campaigns can only be a part of the important work of organising, learning, collectivising social action.
Congratulations on this initiative, and best of luck for the launch next week. So sorry I won’t be able to be there, but look forward to participating in future.’ (Cindy Berman)
“Journey to Justice’s showing of Brother Outsider about the awe-inspiring Bayard Rustin was a totally uplifting and extremely thought-provoking event. Bayard’s life embodied Journey to Justice’s values of challenging injustice through non-violent action; compassion for all people; tolerance and inclusion; the importance of music to inspire and promote solidarity as well as a constant debate about how to actually achieve a more just society. The chance to meet and discuss this award-winning film with Bennett Singer, its joint director, made the screening a very memorable occasion. I loved the film and learned so much.” Pat Boyer
‘Journey to Justice has already affected me because I’ve learned about Bayard Rustin.’ Aziz Rahman
Articles about Bayard Rustin by Eric Lee of Labour Start: