Troublemaker for Justice: The Story of Bayard Rustin, the Man Behind the March on Washington

Jacqueline Houtman, Walter Naegle, and Michael G. Long. City Lights, $12.95 paper (166p) ISBN 978-0-872-86765-9
The publisher’s first YA title urges its young readers to be, in the words of its subject, the “angelic troublemakers” every community needs. Twenty-two brief chapters and black-and-white archival photos chronicle how African-American Bayard Rustin used his pacifist roots, intelligence, and gift of song to promote civil rights and peaceful protest in the mid-20th century. Although he was a primary organizer of the 1963 March on Washington and a frequent adviser to Martin Luther King Jr., Rustin was rarely in the spotlight, in large part because of his identity as an openly gay man. The trio behind the biography—Houtman (The Reinvention of Edison Thomas); Naegle, Rustin’s partner of 10 years; and Long, editor of a book of Rustin’s letters—thoroughly illuminate this lesser-known social justice activist who was influenced by his Quaker grandmother. Despite arrests and discrimination, Rustin never wavered from his commitment to nonviolent direct action. Sidebar articles on topics such as Jim Crow and the Cold War provide historical context, and backmatter includes endnotes, discussion questions, a timeline, and a bibliography. A long-overdue introduction to a fascinating, influential change maker. Ages 13–up. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 08/01/2019
Release date: 08/01/2019
Genre: Children's
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