He was a leading activist of the early — civil-rights movement, helping to initiate a Freedom Ride to challenge with civil disobedience racial segregation on interstate busing. He recognized Martin Luther King, Jr. Rustin became a leading strategist of the civil rights movement from to He was the chief organizer of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, which was headed by A. Philip Randolph, the leading African-American labour-union president and socialist.
If King were alive today, he would be 84, and he would have seen that a lot has changed in the U. Since King's death every group struggling for its civil rights has affixed itself to his passionate cause for justice. The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer LGBTQ communities in particular have been reviled not only for describing our struggle as a civil rights issue but for naming King as one of the civil rights icons who would speak out on our behalf were he still with us. But would he really? As we celebrate Martin Luther King Day , we no longer have to hold King up to a godlike standard.