Wednesday, April 20, 2005

4/18/05 Film: Brother Outsider Readings: the borning struggle and homophobia and the trajectory of...

i really enjoyed the film today on bayard rustin. i have not heard about his role in civil rights before this. he was an incredibaly interesting person. i think that because he was gay, it did in fact affect his role in the movement. rustin came off as being comfortable with his sexuality. the film opened with one of his ex boyfreinds talking about how rustin did not hide the fact he was gay. what was 'noble' about rustin is that he was always willing to step down from his role in particular events to protect the movement from any criticism because of his sexuality. there were times, like when he was working with King that he was asked to step down. but he was always more willing to protect the cause rather than let his own sexuality be harmed by it.

his movement from protest to politics i think was extremely important. as we saw, others believed he was just trying to work with the system and therefore buying into it, but i think that he believed the only real way to make change was to make come from with in. this was particularly an issue when the black panthers were created and tried to create change through violent force.

the civil rights movement was born from a grassroots movement involving peaceful protests and non violent action. it is a model for many other movements including the feminist movement and the gay rights movement. i think both of the articles demonstrated this. bernice johnson reagan said in the borning struggle piece that it changed the people that came into the movement. she said that she was able to find a place for herself, a voice. anyone can be a leader in these organizations. looking at other movements, we see such similarities. returning to the issue of the gay rights movement as being a parallel to the civil rights movement, we see examples of this with strategy. for example, when african amerians boycotted buses as a for of non violent protest, glbt people tried to get marriage licences from city hall in one film saw called tying the knot, this is a form of non violent action. there is also the paralleled use of parades and marches. one movement is learning from the other.

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