A charismatic civil rights leader, Bayard Rustin (1912-1987) is most remembered today as the organizer of the 1963 March on Washington, one of the largest nonviolent protests ever held in the United States. Rustin’s story also highlights the major contributions of a gay man to ending official segregation in America. Brother Outsider, a film by Nancy Kates and Bennett Singer, explores the ways in which Rustin stands at the confluence of the great struggles for civil, legal and human rights by African Americans and lesbian and gay Americans.
Created Equal, a recent NEH project, examines many of the historical issues raised by Brother Outsider through different figures and perspectives. Created Equal uses four outstanding NEH-funded films on African American history and civil rights as the foundation for public discussion programs in communities across the nation. The rich project website provides streams of the films, scholarly essays, and additional resources for teachers.