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Quaker Studies

Abstract

Although Bayard Rustin was one of the most important leaders of the American civil rights movement from the advent of its modern period in the 1950s until well into the 1980s, his name was seldom mentioned; he received comparatively little press or media attention, and others' names were usually much more readily associated with the movement than his was. His was a behind-the-scenes role that, for all its importance, never garnered Rustin the public acclaim he deserved. Rustin's homosexuality and early communist affiliation probably meant that the importance of his contribution to the civil rights and peace movements would never be acknowledged. However, fairness demands that the extent of Rustin's work receive a fair public reception.

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