The Eastern Oregon University branch of the Oregon Student Association brought the 2003 movie “Brother Outsider” to campus for the privilege of a free viewing.
Turnout was abysmally low for this award winning movie. Go figure.
I wonder how many campus people, including professors, even know who Bayard Rustin was/is. If you don’t know, read on.
Bayard Rustin was a lot of things: A scholar, a singer, an athlete, a major figure in the civil rights movement—and a homosexual. Rustin’s homosexuality is the only reason he is not a household name such as Martin Luther King Jr. or Rosa Parks.
The documentary depicts Rustin’s life as a social activist. His social activism was not limited to civil rights for blacks. He tirelessly campaigned for the poor, the labor movement, and gay rights.
Rustin’s activity in the civil rights movement, his refusal to be drafted and his gay lifestyle made him a particular target of J. Edgar Hoover and Sen. Strom Thurmond. Rustin spent many months in jail for these “crimes”.
Thurmond made a point of entering Rustin’s conviction on a sodomy charge a part of the congressional record. How many of today’s younger people realize practicing an LBGT lifestyle was punishable by imprisonment?
Rustin even suffered ostracization from the civil rights movement for his lifestyle.
I wonder if the film was so poorly attended from fears of “white guilt.” The film is not about that, it’s a celebration of a man’s life. A man who dedicated his life for a cause while knowing his lifestyle would guarantee him virtual anonymity; would that we all cared so deeply about something.
I don’t want to talk any more about “Brother Outsider’s” content. You really need to see it.
Turn off the Kartrashians and watch a film about someone really worth knowing about.