Troublemaker for Justice: The Story of Bayard Rustin, the Man Behind the March on Washington

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Product Details

$13.95  $12.97
City Lights Books
Publish Date
6.0 X 8.9 X 0.6 inches | 0.6 pounds

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About the Author

Michael G. Long is the author or editor of numerous books on civil rights, religion, and politics, including We the Resistance: Documenting A History of Nonviolent Protest in the United States; Race Man: Selected Works of Julian Bond; I Must Resist: Bayard Rustin's Life in Letters; Marshalling Justice: The Early Civil Rights Letters of Thurgood Marshall; and First Class Citizenship: The Civil Rights Letters of Jackie Robinson. Long has written for the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, ESPN's The Undefeated, and USA Today, and his work has been featured or reviewed in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Mother Jones, and many others. Long has spoken at Fenway Park, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Smithsonian, the Library of Congress, and the National Archives, and he has appeared on MSNBC, PBS, C-SPAN, and National Public Radio.

Jacqueline Houtman is the author of the award-winning children's book The Reinvention of Edison Thomas, and earned a PhD in Medical Microbiology and Immunology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her science writing for adults and children has appeared in World Book Science Year, FASEB's Breakthroughs in Bioscience series, Cleveland Clinic Magazine, The Dana Foundation's Progress in Brain Research, The Dana Sourcebook of Immunology and numerous academic and educational publications. Her debut novel, The Reinvention of Edison Thomas, was published by Boyds Mills Press in 2012.

Walter Naegle is the former partner of the American Civil Rights leader Bayard Rustin and is executive director of the Bayard Rustin Fund, which commemorates Rustin's life, values, and legacy.


Praise for Troublemaker for Justice:

"In Troublemaker for Justice children and teens can finally discover the story of the man who possibly was the most influential person in the struggle for Civil Rights--Bayard Rustin."--Rob Sanders, author of Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag

"Troublemaker for Justice is a book that belongs in every middle and high school library biography section and students researching the Civil Rights Movement should always be presented with materials that acknowledge his contributions. Bayard Rustin dedicated his life to the pursuit of equality and his is a name that should stand out in United States history."--Leah Cole, Teaching Social Justice with Children's Books

"The first YA book from San Francisco publisher City Lights, Troublemaker is an excellent introduction to the gay black Quaker called 'Mr. March-on-Washington himself' by friends and undercut by opponents for his sexual orientation."--Dave Wheeler, Shelf Awareness

"Written with verve and an unerring eye for the important details, as well as the larger picture, Troublemaker for Justice is a nuanced, vital, and compelling portrait of civil rights leader Bayard Rustin. It is beautifully imagined and positioned perfectly in a thrilling sweep of U.S. history."--Michael Bronski, author of A Queer History of the United States

"Troublemaker for Justice will thrill and inspire young readers--and their parents. Bayard Rustin was a crucial figure in the Civil Rights movement, and everyone should know his story, but even more importantly, we need his principles and his tactics now more than ever. This is one history book that could help you change the future." --Charlie Jane Anders, author of The City in the Middle of the Night

"Troublemaker for Justice is an incredible book! It is hard to believe that so much tumultuous history is contained in 154 pages. What emerges is the intense importance of seeing Bayard and other Civil Rights Leaders not just as historical figures, but as the brave people they were who made sacrifices for the betterment of society. Their stories vehemently ask us to not let their work towards creating a less violent world be in vain."--Connie Griffin, Children's Book Specialist, Bookworks, Albuquerque, NM

"Bayard Rustin did not spend his life trying to fit in. Instead, Bayard's fascinating life story is the saga of one man's struggle to make the world fit his vision of justice." -- Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton

"Packed full of sidebars with additional context--including regarding the Quakers' views of civil rights, the nonviolent philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi, and Jim Crow laws--the book also lists additional resources, includes a timeline of Rustin's life, and forwards discussion questions. . . . Troublemaker for Justice is a helpful primer for young readers about a civil rights leader who's worth learning more about."--Jeff Fleischer, Foreword Magazine

"Troublemaker for Justice illuminates readers on the life and legacy of Bayard Rustin. A notable civil rights leader, Rustin is often cast into the historical shadows of the civil rights movement in part because of his sexuality, political engagement with the communist party during the Cold War, and being a conscientious objector to World War II. Houtman, Naegle, and Long provide an in-depth history of Bayard Rustin's life, from his early childhood to his death in 1987. Inspired by his Quaker upbringing and the nonviolent direct organizing tactics of Mohandas Gandhi (Mahatma Gandhi), Rustin strongly believed in the value of community organizing and remained true to his values of equality, peace, and civil disobedience. . . .Troublemaker for Justice is a great resource for high schoolers and middle schoolers with an advanced reading level to learn about activism, nonviolent organizing, the civil rights movement, and LGBTQ+ changemakers. By providing an in-depth narrative of an often overlooked historical figure, this book connects the dots between the less-told Journey for Reconciliation with the widely-known Freedom Riders Movement. This book contains great explanations of complicated terms/movements/ideologies, numerous graphics, and some basic discussion questions to use in classroom teaching."--Conner Suddick, "Social Justice Books: " A Teaching for Change Project

"What is most astounding about Bayard Rustin is that for all his accomplishments and successes, he is unknown to many. Despite the fact that he worked directly with Martin Luther King Jr. and organized The March on Washington, again, he continues to be unknown. Why is that? Because Bayard Rustin was gay. History wrote him out of many important events because of the prejudice and discrimination towards gays and lesbians during that time. Despite that, Bayard continued onward; not only helping those in the United States but also broadening his reach to other countries. What is clear throughout this book is an important message: everybody has the right to be treated fairly. Everybody has the right to be treated with respect. It is important to stand up to prejudice and discrimination no matter the circumstances. Although Bayard Rustin died in 1987, his messages still strongly resonate today."--Marisa Marion, Dutile Elementary School, Billerica MA, for "Youth Services Book Review"

"The best part of this biographic profile is the skillful balance Houtman, Naegle, and Long achieve in the writing. They deftly explore rich details of Rustin's early years and beyond. Raised by his Quaker-educated grandma, Julia, he was inspired to relieve suffering, to resolve injustice, and to speak out rather then stand by in the face of war and wickedness. From childhood and on throughout his life, he was called on to demonstrate, time and again, that his actions would speak louder than words."--Sandy Brehl, "An Open Book"