The political narrative of “Who Built America?” is viewed through a distorted lens that tends to obscure the contributions of many people. The LGBTQIA community is often left out of the conversation as it relates to their contributions to the Civil Rights Movement, and Bayard Rustin is one of many that deserves more recognition. Fortunately, he’s getting the biopic treatment. Via THR:
Colman Domingo will star in Rustin, the biopic centered on influential civil rights and gay rights activist Bayard Rustin that Michelle and Barack Obama’s banner, Higher Ground, is producing.
Chris Rock, Glynn Turman and Audra McDonald are also starring in the Netflix drama, which is being directed by George C. Wolfe, whose last film was Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Wolfe wrote the script with Dustin Lance Black, the Oscar-winning scribe behind Harvey Milk biopic Milk.
Rustin was a key figure in the early civil rights movement in the mid-20th century, leading several marches on Washington as well as organizing Freedom Rides. A practitioner of nonviolent resistance, he was arrested and beaten several times for flouting Jim Crow-era laws. He was also arrested for his sexual orientation, which he tried to keep secret since many believed it would undermine the civil rights work Rustin and others were trying to accomplish (and was indeed used by racist politicians).