Bayard Rustin — debating here with Malcom X — was one of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s closest confidantes. A passionate and earnest speaker and a very sharp mind, he was also queer as a three dollar bill, and became a somewhat bifurcated icon of two occasionally divergent movements that ultimately sought — and seek — a common goal: a humanity so free that our eyes nearly ache with the brightness of the horizon. He was one of the fiercest and most adored champions of that vision — and we honor him in celebration of Black History Month. Find a way to watch Brother Outsider — you will be glad you did.

Stay tuned for more about some of our African American icons this month. In the meantime, let’s go be free, and remember our political ancestors.

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