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  • On August 28th, 1963,

  • Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dreamspeech

  • at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

  • That day,

  • nearly a quarter million people

  • gathered on the national mall

  • to demand an end to the discrimination, segregation, violence,

  • and economic exclusion black people still faced

  • across the United States.

  • None of it would have been possible without the march's chief organizer

  • – a man named Bayard Rustin.

  • Rustin grew up in a Quaker household,

  • and began peacefully protesting racial segregation in high school.

  • He remained committed to pacifism throughout his life,

  • and was jailed in 1944 as a conscientious objector to World War II.

  • During his two-year imprisonment,

  • he protested the segregated facilities from within.

  • Wherever Rustin went,

  • he organized and advocated,

  • and was constantly attuned to the methods, groups, and people

  • who could help further messages of equality.

  • He joined the Communist Party

  • when black American's civil rights were one of its priorities,

  • but soon became disillusioned by the party's authoritarian leanings

  • and left.

  • In 1948,

  • he traveled to India to learn the peaceful resistance strategies

  • of the recently assassinated Mahatma Gandhi.

  • He returned to the United States

  • armed with strategies for peaceful protest,

  • including civil disobedience.

  • He began to work with Martin Luther King Jr in 1955,

  • and shared these ideas with him.

  • As King's prominence increased,

  • Rustin became his main advisor,

  • as well as a key strategist in the broader civil rights movement.

  • He brought his organizing expertise

  • to the 1956 bus boycotts in Montgomery, Alabama

  • in fact,

  • he had organized and participated in a transportation protest

  • that helped inspire the boycotts almost a decade before.

  • His largest-scale organizing project came in 1963,

  • when he led the planning for the national march on Washington.

  • The possibility of riots that could injure marchers

  • and undermine their message of peaceful protest was a huge concern.

  • Rustin not only worked with the DC police and hospitals to prepare,

  • but organized and trained a volunteer force of 2,000 security marshals.

  • In spite of his deft management,

  • some of the other organizers did not want Rustin to march in front

  • with other leaders from the south, because of his homosexuality.

  • Despite these slights,

  • Rustin maintained his focus, and on the day of the march

  • he delivered the marchers' demands

  • in a speech directed at President John F. Kennedy.

  • The march itself proceeded smoothly, without any violence.

  • It has been credited with helping pass the 1964 Civil Rights Act,

  • which ended segregation in public places and banned employment discrimination,

  • and the 1965 Voting Rights Act,

  • which outlawed discriminatory voting practices.

  • In spite of his decades of service,

  • Rustin's positions on certain political issues were unpopular among his peers.

  • Some thought he wasn't critical enough of the Vietnam War,

  • or that he was too eager to collaborate with the political establishment

  • including the president and congress.

  • Others were uncomfortable with his former communist affiliation.

  • But ultimately,

  • both his belief in collaboration

  • with the government and his membership

  • to the communist party

  • had been driven by his desire to maximize tangible gains

  • in liberties for black Americans,

  • and to do so as quickly as possible.

  • Rustin was passed over for several influential roles in the 1960s and 70s,

  • but he never stopped his activism.

  • In the 1980s,

  • he publicly came out as gay, and was instrumental

  • in drawing attention to the AIDS crisis until his death in 1987.

  • In 2013,

  • fifty years after the March On Washington,

  • President Barack Obama posthumously awarded him

  • the Presidential Medal of Freedom,

  • praising Rustin's “march towards true equality,

  • no matter who we are or who we love.”

On August 28th, 1963,

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公民権運動の知られざる英雄 - クリスティーナ・グリア (An unsung hero of the civil rights movement - Christina Greer)

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    shuting1215 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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