"Who is Bayard Rustin?"
I have been asked this question enough times to know that "Bayard Rustin" is not a household name in America.
Rustin was not a president, not a four-star general, not a celebrity. He did not die young under tragic circumstances, as did Martin Luther King, Jr., and Malcolm X, two more renowned African Americans whom we do remember. Instead, depending on the circumstances, Rustin was dismissed during his lifetime as a Communist, a draft dodger, or a sexual pervert -- and sometimes all three. None are characteristics designed to win a revered place in our nation's history.