The Invisible Man

Why Bayard Rustin is the unknown hero of the civil rights movement

He was, to purloin Ralph Ellison's Phrase, the "invisible man" of the civil rights movement. In the struggle for African-American dignity, he was perhaps the most critical figure that many people have never heard of. Which is why, as we prepare to observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 20, it's worth taking a look at the life and lessons of one Bayard Rustin.

Born in 1912 into a Quaker family in West Chester, Pa., Rustin from an early age dedicated his life to social causes. Trained as an activist by the Quakers, Rustin went to New York City...

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