“When an individual is protesting society’s refusal to acknowledge his dignity as a human being, his very act of protest confers dignity on him.” 

Unlike some other Civil Rights agitators of the 20th century, history has largely glossed over Rustin on account of his Socialist politics. Beginning to organize against segregation in the 1940s, Rustin later put himself at additional risk by coming out as gay, declaring “if I didn’t I was a part of the prejudice, aiding and abetting the effort to destroy me.” Rustin took a weird, regrettable turn toward right-wing politics toward the end of his life, but maintains a reputation principally as a radical.