December 3, 2023

Colman Domingo Is a Queer Civil Rights Activist – IndieWire


The legendary life story of Bayard Rustin is finally getting the film treatment.

Tony and DGA award winner George C. Wolfe directs the Netflix film “Rustin,” starring Emmy winner Colman Domingo as the queer Civil Rights activist who led the 1963 march on Washington D.C. The teaser trailer is revealed on August 28, which is the 60th anniversary of the demonstration.

Rustin marched alongside Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., Adam Clayton Powell Jr., and Ella Baker, and promoted non-violent protests. Rustin served as the president of the A. Philip Randolph Institute, a civil rights organization in New York City, from 1966 to 1979. Later in life, Rustin worked for LGBTQ+ activism and brought attention to the AIDS crisis in conjunction with the NAACP. Rustin died in 1987, and was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama in 2013.

The official synopsis for the eponymously titled Netflix film reads: The architect of 1963’s momentous March on Washington, Bayard Rustin was one of the greatest activists and organizers the world has ever known. He challenged authority, never apologized for who he was, what he believed, or who he desired. And he did not back down. He made history, and in turn, he was forgotten.

The Obamas’ production company Higher Ground produces the film, along with director Wolfe, Bruce Cohen, and Higher Ground’s Tonia Davis.

In addition to Domingo, the cast includes Chris Rock, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Jeffrey Wright, Audra McDonald, Glynn Turman, Aml Ameen, CCH Pounder, Johnny Ramey, Michael Potts, and Gus Halper.

Director Wolfe, who previously helmed “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” for Netflix and the original Broadway production of “Angels in America,” said in a press statement about Rustin, “Fearless, defiant, celebratory, demanding, unrelenting, collaborative, exceedingly curious, and smarter than smart, because of all of the above, he is for me, the ultimate American; what every American should strive to be. I am grateful and forever in awe of all that he accomplished, and deeply proud, as is everyone who worked on the making of ‘Rustin,’ to share his remarkable story with the world.”

“Rustin” premieres in select theaters November 3 and will be available to stream on Netflix November 17. Check out the teaser below.

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