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Time on Two Crosses: The Collected Writings of Bayard Rustin Paperback – July 10, 2003
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"'Time on Two Crosses' is
a profound portrait of this neglected yet essential American patriot." -- New York Newsday, August 3, 2003
"A magnificent contribution to public understanding of a major but neglected figure of the civil rights movement." -- Randall Kennedy, author, Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word
"Americans are finally able to see Rustin as he was...and see, as well, the monumental scale of his achievement." -- New York Times, August 23, 2003
"Rustin's words reach out to anyone who has bemoaned the gay rights movement's insulation from broader efforts for social justice." -- The Advocate, September 2, 2003
"There's never been a better time to read what Rustin has to say...His words are filled with thought-provoking wisdom." -- John DEmilio, author, Lost Prophet: The Life and Times of Bayard Rustin
"This is a diverse and invaluable collection of writing from one of the 20th century's most important human rights champions." -- The Gay & Lesbian Review/Worldwide, January/February 2004
About the Author
Devon Carbado is Professor of Law and African American Studies at the University of California-Los Angeles. He is coeditor of Black Like Us: A Century of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual African American Fiction (Cleis), winner of the 2003 Lambda Literary Award and the Independent Publisher Award, and editor of Black Men on Race, Gender, and Sexuality: A Critical Reader (New York UP). Donald Weise is coeditor of Black Like Us: A Century of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual African American Fiction, as well as The Huey P. Newton Reader (Seven Stories). He is also editor of Gore Vidals Los Angeles Times bestseller Gore Vidal: Sexually SpeakingCollected Sex Writings (Cleis).
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For anyone interested in learning lessons about past civil rights movements of minority community members -- especially for activists in more recent civil rights movements (such as the immigration and transgender civil rights movements) -- this is definitely worth the read.
Near the end of their biography section, the editors admit that much work has come out recently to highlight Rustin (two biographies, a documentary, etc.) Their contribution is that readers finally get to see what Rustin was thinking verbatim. Due to homophobia and Far Right domination, Rustin was often silenced and marginalized. However, he was a feisty figure who also wasn't afraid to butt heads with top dogs. Similarly, his ideas will both impress and disgust readers. This was one opinionated brotha! Still, I love the way this collection disproves many myths: that gay black men don't care about civil rights, that only heterosexuals made black civil rights happen, that James Baldwin was the only black gay man who can be recognized in the struggle, etc. Moreover, Rustin was on the forefront of issue far beyond just his race and sexuality. He spoke of feminism, international affairs, pacifism, labor rights, etc. In a way, it's almost limiting that the editors bring up only "two crosses" in the title of this book. Just like Frida Kahlo, Bayard Rustin juggled many balls and now modern readers get a chance to witness how excellently he did it. I think all progressives, regardless of their race or sexual orientation, will be blown away by this black, gay hero.