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MOMENT OF SILENCE ON BAYARD RUSTIN’S 100TH BIRTHDAY

Saturday, March 17, 2012, marks the 100th birthday of the late civil rights activist Bayard Rustin.  Rustin was a proud Black gay man who was an indispensable architect of the Civil Rights Movement. His most noteworthy achievements include serving as chief organizer of the historic 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, mentoring the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and helping to form the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC).

at news briefing on the Civil Rights March on ...

at news briefing on the Civil Rights March on Washington in the Statler Hotel, half-length portrait, seated at table (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As an effective bridge builder across a broad range of demographics, he spent more than 60 years involved in social, racial, economic, class, labor, anti-war and other justice movements, both domestically and internationally.

However, the story of this visionary strategist and activist, who dared to live as an openly gay man during the violently homophobic 1940s, 50s, and 60s, has rarely been told in mainstream or Black media.

Read more just click here —> NBJC Celebrates Bayard Rustin 100th Birthday 1912-2012

Gays Are Us

Why LGBT Equality Is Not a “White” Issue

By Rev. Dr. Dennis W. Wiley

At last month’s 102nd annual convention of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, a historic workshop focused on overcoming homophobia within the black community.  As an African American, heterosexual, male pastor of a traditionally black Baptist church in the inner city of Washington, D.C., I was glad to see this legendary organization take this small but important step in its increasingly inclusive perspective on civil rights.

There are some, however, including the Rev. Keith Ratliff Sr., an NAACP national board member, who see no parallel between gay rights and civil rights.  Expressing this conviction at a rally last May, he demanded that the gay community “stop hijacking the civil rights movement.”

This statement, subtly suggesting that “civil rights” is a black issue and “gay rights” is a white issue, implies that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, or LGBT, equality is not a priority for black people.  This sentiment, particularly prevalent regarding the issue of marriage equality, is often expressed in a variety of ways, including, “This is not our issue,” “This is not a priority for the black community,” and, “We have more critical matters to consider.”

TO READ FULL ARTICLE, CLICK HERE –> GAYS ARE US.