Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Week of February 26, More on Bayard Rustin
This week we are learning about Bayard Rustin through the film "Brother Outsider".
Please read this article before you answer the questions below.
Please consider these questions and answer them in Google Docs:
1. Historians have called Rustin the “invisible man” and the “unknown hero” of the civil rights movement. Do you agree with these descriptions? Why do you think Rustin has been hidden from history? Do you see him as a hero? If so, what makes him heroic to you?
2. How does knowing about Bayard Rustin’s contributions – as well as about the way he was treated – affect your understanding of the civil rights movement?
3. Did Rustin’s relative openness about being gay make him more of a target than if he had remained closeted? Why?
4. At the very end of the film (at 1:21:21), Rustin says: “Twenty-five, thirty years ago, the barometer of human rights in the United States were black people. That is no longer true. The barometer for judging the character of people in regard to human rights is now those who consider themselves gay, homosexual, lesbian.” Rustin made this statement shortly before his death in 1987; do you think it holds true today?
5. What group or groups do you see as “the barometer of human rights” today? In what ways are members of the LGBT community still fighting for full equal rights? How do you think history will remember the current struggle for LGBT rights?
Then post your answers to our class blog as a comment.
Finally, comment on your classmates comments.