Interview Summary

Bayard Rustin (1912-1987) was principal organizer of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom of 1963 and assisted in founding the Congress of Racial Equality in 1942. Rustin was a strong believer in the nonviolent tactics of Gandhi and counseled Martin Luther King, Jr. on the techniques of nonviolent resistance, serving as an advisor during the Montgomery bus boycott. Along with George Houser, Rustin organized an early "Freedom Ride." Because of his open homosexuality, much of his participation in the civil rights movement and pacifism was not publicized and he remained behind the scenes.

Bayard Rustin begins by discussing his early membership with the Young Communist League and the Fellowship of Reconciliations. He discusses at length different strategies for the civil rights movement and his belief that the political parties need to focus their attention on specific causes. Rustin provides his opinion on school integration, school busing, and the concept of an "educational park" and provides alternative options for achieving integration. At the end of the interview, Rustin briefly talks about the dispersed leadership of the civil rights movement and cites examples of cooperation between the organizations such as the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

Interview Accession

2003oh029_rpwcr018

Interviewee Name

Bayard Rustin

Interviewer Name

Robert Penn Warren

Interview Date

1964

Interview Partial Date

1964

Interview Rights

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Interview Usage

Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Interviews may be reproduced with permission from Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, Special Collections, University of Kentucky Libraries.

All rights to the interviews, including but not restricted to legal title, copyrights and literary property rights, have been transferred to the University of Kentucky Libraries.

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Rustin, Bayard Interview by Robert Penn Warren. Lexington, KY: Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.

Rustin, B. (n.d.). Interview by R. P. Warren. Who Speaks For The Negro? The Robert Penn Warren Civil Rights Oral History Project. Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington.

Rustin, Bayard, interview by Robert Penn Warren. (n.d.), Who Speaks For The Negro? The Robert Penn Warren Civil Rights Oral History Project, Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries.





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