We Are One: The Story of Bayard Rustin

Overview

Bayard Rustin dedicated his life to helping others—fighting injustices and discriminations—so that people could live as one. Protesting segregation long before there was a civil rights movement, he often was arrested for his beliefs and actions. As a nonviolent activist, Bayard made his mark working alongside many African American leaders, notably A. Philip Randolph and Martin Luther King, Jr. As an organizer, Bayard was largely responsible for bringing people together to walk for freedom and jobs in ...

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Overview

Bayard Rustin dedicated his life to helping others—fighting injustices and discriminations—so that people could live as one. Protesting segregation long before there was a civil rights movement, he often was arrested for his beliefs and actions. As a nonviolent activist, Bayard made his mark working alongside many African American leaders, notably A. Philip Randolph and Martin Luther King, Jr. As an organizer, Bayard was largely responsible for bringing people together to walk for freedom and jobs in Washington, D.C., on that memorable summer day, August 28, 1963. With style and careful attention to history, Larry Dane Brimner captures a story of passion, courage, and triumph through Bayard's own words and archival photographs in this Jane Addams Children's Book Award winner.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Mary Bowman-Kruhm
This book brilliantly relates the story of a civil rights activist who spent a lifetime working behind the scenes to move the United States toward a more equitable society. The story begins with Rustin's apprehensions over the success of the 1963 Washington, DC, mass protest of racial grievances and returns at the book's end to the success of the march on Washington. Raised by Quaker grandparents active in the NAACP's early years, Rustin acted on his belief in peace and non-violence, including arrest for sitting in the white section of a bus many years before Rosa Parks's act of defiance, a jail term for refusing to serve in the military during World War II, organization of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and advising the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Well-chosen black and white photographs illustrate the text. Visually attractive wide blue and orange-red slashes on each page act as sidebars and may pose problems for a few students; their content, written in white, varies widely from extraneous information to a very important clause that begins a sentence. Material that caused Rustin to be viewed as controversial, such as homosexuality and membership in the Young Communist League, are clearly and tastefully discussed in the Author's Note, which also tells how Brimner went from seeing Rustin's name in a footnote to writing the story of his powerful contribution to society. This is an excellent supplemental text for this era in US history and highly recommended for all ages. Reviewer: Mary Bowman-Kruhm, Ph.D.
School Library Journal

Gr 6-10 This is a captivating biography of the man who has been called the "intellectual engineer" of the Civil Rights Movement. The book begins and ends with the March on Washington, August 28, 1963, which Rustin organized. His mentor was A. Philip Randolph and he was a lifelong adviser to Martin Luther King, Jr. Rustin was a complex, multitalented man-he was a musician, an intellectual, an organizer, and a war objector who chose to go to prison rather than serve in World War II. He was a controversial figure partly because he was at one time a Communist and he was homosexual (the latter mentioned only in an author's note). Brimner keeps the focus on Rustin's work for social justice, including his being beaten and taken to the police station in 1942 for sitting at the front of a bus; his early restaurant sit-ins; and his Journey of Reconciliation, which was a precursor to the Freedom Rides. The author's writing is lively and clear, and he adeptly places Rustin in the larger context of the Jim Crow era and the Civil Rights Movement. The attractive design, with large, clear, black-and-white photographs and plenty of white space, enhances the readability of the text. Red and blue bars emphasize important quotations, lyrics to spirituals, and some photo captions. A gem for students studying the Civil Rights Movement and an excellent addition to any American history collection.-Marcia Kochel, Olson Middle School, Bloomington, MN

Kirkus Reviews
Bayard Rustin was an important figure in the Civil Rights movement, yet he remains almost unknown to young readers. Rustin refused to give up his seat on a segregated bus several years before Rosa Parks's defiance in Montgomery, organized the 1941 March on Washington, cancelled when key demands were met by President Roosevelt, and became an advisor to Martin Luther King, organizing the 1963 March on Washington, where King gave his "I Have A Dream" speech. An effective mix of major historical events and small, telling anecdotes, along with the attractive photo-essay format, make this a fascinating volume, informative and well written. An excellent author's note matter-of-factly discusses Rustin's homosexuality, his early involvement with the Young Communist League and his pacifism and imprisonment during World War II, factors that made him controversial and a potential liability to the movement. The bibliography is skimpy, with little to guide young readers to the many other fine books on the subject, but this is an excellent addition to that growing body of literature about the Civil Rights movement. (Nonfiction. 9+)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590784983
  • Publisher: Boyds Mills Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/2007
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 700,638
  • Age range: 9 - 11 Years
  • Lexile: 1120L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 11.20 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Larry Dane Brimner is an award-winning author of more than 150 titles for young readers-fiction and nonfiction. His previous titles for Calkins Creek are We Are One: The Story of Bayard Rustin, winner of the Jane Addams Book Award and the Norman A. Sugarman Children's Biography Award, and Birmingham Sunday, a NCTE Orbis Pictus honor book and a Jane Addams Children's honor book. He lives in Tucson, Arizona.

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