Bayard Rustin, the openly gay African American who was Martin Luther King, Jr.’s right hand man responsible for a good deal of the civil rights activist’s tactical and strategic success has been awarded a proclamation by Tom Bates, the Democratic 74-year old highly-popular mayor of the City of Berkeley, California, to commemorate the upcoming anniversary of Rustin’s 100th birthday.Bayard Rustin was born March 17, 1912, and died August 24, 1987, in New York City.
The proclamation was presented last night by Berkeley City Councilmember Darryl Moore at the Berkeley City Council meeting, and a copy of the proclamation (image, above; full size, here,) once signed by Mayor Bates, was sent, along with the statement below, directly to The New Civil Rights Movement.
“Bayard Rustin was one of the lead organizers and strategists for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in August of 1963, who also brought Gandhi’s nonviolent protest techniques to the American Civil Rights Movement, and helped mold Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. into an international symbol of peace and nonviolence,” Councilmember Moore said in a statement to The New Civil Rights Movement. “Bayard Rustin has gone largely unrecognized for his role in the Civil Rights Movement because he was openly gay. It was feared that having an openly gay advisor would discredit the efforts of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the other leaders of the African-American Civil Rights Movement.”