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Time on Two Crosses: The Collected Writings of Bayard Rustin Paperback – July 10, 2003

5.0 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"'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 D’Emilio, 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 Vidal’s Los Angeles Times bestseller Gore Vidal: Sexually Speaking—Collected Sex Writings (Cleis).
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 350 pages
  • Publisher: Cleis Press; 1 edition (July 10, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1573441740
  • ISBN-13: 978-1573441742
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #392,264 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
The person who organized the 1963 March on Washington for Civil Rights was a black gay man! Two eminent scholars, Carbado and Weise, who have done much to open space for black gay studies continue that tradition by compiling some of Bayard Rustin's most famous speeches. The book starts with a well-done biography of the leader. The next sections are speeches on a range of issues which show how thoroughly ahead of his time this brotha was.
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.
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Format: Paperback
The editors, Devon Carbado and Donald Weise, have done the important work of bringing to us the writings of the central, but neglected, civil rights- and human rights- activist, Bayard Rustin. Their well-written Introduction does a superb job of properly placing Rustin within his times and sharing the story of this complex and important historical figure. The Rustin writings relating to his life as a gay man in America in the middle part of the 20th century are often as insightful as Rustin's writings on the movement. An important work.
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Format: Paperback
I read this book along with 3 different biographies of Rustin. His life is fascinating and inspiring. The essays in this book are so clearly thought and written. Besides being a great strategic leader, he was really a great philosopher who lived his philosophy. The essays, and his life, have made me review many ideas about nonviolent protest (which I support and engage in), and violence and politics and race and social structure. Much of what he says about all of these is totally relevant today. For me, his legacy of nonviolent direct action lives now and how he thought about it is extremely useful. If you care about any of these topics, read the book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bayard Rustin to me is a civil rights leader whose writing are still relevant -- especially at the intersection of African-American and Gay Liberation civil rights movements. And, his insights about other civil rights efforts -- such as the women's civil rights movement -- were quite enlightening.

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.
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