Earlier this month the U.S. National Park Service added the Manhattan residence of famed gay civil rights activist Bayard Rustin to its National Register of Historic Places.
Bayard Rustin — read more about him HERE and HERE — was, among other things, the lead organizer of the 1963 Civil Rights March on Washington led by Martin Luther King Jr. Bayard Rustin led for many years the A. Philip Randolph Institute, an organized labor advocacy organization; he worked for Freedom House, a human rights organization, and, in the mid-1980s he recognized the struggle for Lesbian and Gay civil rights and lobbied the New York City government to support the lesbian and gay rights bill.
He purchased apartment 9J in a high-rise apartment building in the West Chelsea section of Manhattan in 1962 and lived there until his death in 1987. In 1977, Bayard’s partner, Walter Naegle, moved into the apartment and continues to live there, preserving it almost exactly as Rustin left it.
From the National Park Service:
“Bayard Rustin, a gay African American Quaker, civil rights advocate, proponent of non-violence, and campaigner for social and economic justice, had an impact on many of the nation’s social justice achievements since the 1930s. In the course of his quarter-century residence in Penn South, Rustin organized and led the August 28, 1963 March for Jobs and Freedom in Washington, D.C.”
LGBT history advocate Mark Meinke said the addition of the Rustin residence to the National Register of Historic Places represents the seventh LGBT-related site to be recognized, “with more to come.”
Bayard Rustin was a hero to the African American Community, the LGBT community, the human community, and is so deserving of this particular honor.
The march goes on …