Nov. 11, 2016

IN THEIR WORDS MY VOICE

Veteran's Day
Project Uplift Literacy
In Their Words, My Voice
Bayard Rustin, “Jim Crow Army"

By the early 1960s, Bayard Rustin would emerge as a major strategist for the civil rights movement and advisor to Dr. Martin Luther King. In 1948, however, he was less well known among the American population. By that point, however, most of his views were shaped and well known. In World War II, for example, Rustin spent two years in prison as a conscientious objector to the draft. In the speech below he argues that young black men should challenge segregation in the U.S. military and in society in general through civil disobedience campaigns. He calls on them to refuse to serve if they are drafted.