Rustin Biographer Speaks at Denison
Posted: February 2, 2003
John D'Emilio, author of a new biography of Bayard Rustin, will speak at Denison University on the life and work of this highly influential but virtually unknown civil rights activist. D'Emilio will present "Lost Prophet: Bayard Rustin and the Quest for Peace and Racial Justice in Post-World War America" at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday (Feb. 12) in Slayter Hall Auditorium. Sponsored by Denison's department of history, D'Emilio's presentation is free and open to the public.
Rustin was a lifelong "agitator for justice" and pacifist whose efforts ensured that nonviolence became the defining feature of the struggle for black freedom, says D'Emilio. He was also a gay man at a time of unrelenting discrimination against homosexuals. Anti-segregationists and civil rights leaders alike used this fact to discredit Rustin's contributions to the movement. In his presentation, D'Emilio will shed new light on a visionary man lost in the shadows of history.
D'Emilio is professor of history and of gender and women's studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He earned his bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees at Columbia University. A founder of the Gay Academic Union, D'Emilio also has taught at the University of North Carolina. He is the author of nine books including "The Civil Rights Struggle: Leaders in Profile" (1979), "Sexual Politics, Sexual Communities: The Making of a Homosexual Minority in the United States, 1940-1970" (1983), "Intimate Matters: A History of Sexuality in America"(1997) with Estelle Freedman and "The World Turned: Essays on Gay History, Politics, and Culture" (2002). "Lost Prophet" was published in the fall of 2003. He is a Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Humanities fellow.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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