July 19, 2020. That's the date of my blog piece titled "We Need a Bayard Rustin Biopic." I'm old enough to recall seeing Bayard Rustin speak at the historic March on Washington in 1963. My parents watched as it was a live network news telecast on CBS. I was a little boy and watched with them. Bayard Rustin was a gifted singer, a Quaker, an intellect and a mentor to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He was Dr. King's top advisor and was called "the Architect of the March on Washington."
In my July 2020 post, I wrote: "He was a key figure in the Civil Rights movement. The late Bayard Rustin was also an openly gay man. This is why his monumental contributions to the Civil Rights movement were unjustly overlooked and downplayed. Tell Hollywood that we are in major need of a well-done Bayard Rustin biopic."
Well, finally....finally we're getting one. It was directed by George C. Wolfe. The executive producers are Barack and Michelle Obama. RUSTIN opens in theaters come November and it will air on Netflix. Colman Domingo stars as Rustin. He is no stranger to big screen biopics. He has a key scene as a soldier talking to President Abraham Lincoln in the first ten minutes of Steven Spielberg's LINCOLN (2012) and he played activist Ralph Abernathy in Ava DuVernay's Martin Luther King biopic, SELMA (2014).
I've read a few reviews of RUSTIN written by respected, professional film critics and I'm thrilled that there is Best Actor Oscar buzz for Mr. Domingo's performance. We've seen hetero actors such as the William Hurt, Tom Hanks, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Sean Penn, Javier Bardem, Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal get Oscar nominations or win Oscars for playing gay men. In RUSTIN, we are graced with an openly gay Black actor portraying an openly gay Black historical figure. That's history too. Here's a trailer.
Following RUSTIN, Colman Domingo will also be seen in the film adaptation of Broadway's hit musical version of THE COLOR PURPLE.