North Texas Daily

“Brother Outsider” screened to celebrate 50th anniversary of March on Washington

“Brother Outsider” screened to celebrate 50th anniversary of March on Washington

“Brother Outsider” screened to celebrate 50th anniversary of March on Washington
August 30
10:43 2013

Carina Aquino / Staff Writer

On Wednesday the Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays screened the film “Brother Outsider” at the Silver Cinema at the Golden Triangle Mall in Denton to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington.

“Brother Outsider” focused on the life of Bayar Rustin, a civil rights advocate and the organizer of the 1963 March on Washington, one of the largest nonviolent protests in United States history.

Rustin’s life was portrayed through interviews, photos and film dating back to the era of segregation and homophobia.

Rustin was known for his influence on Martin Luther King Jr., who delivered the “I Have A Dream” public speech to thousands of civil right supporters during the March on Washington. This became a defining moment within the entire civil rights movement.

Rev. Peter Johnson -- Photo by Harris Buchanan / Staff Photographer

PFLAG introduced a special guest speaker, Reverend Peter J. Johnson, to give additional perspective on the civil rights movement and King himself.

“’Cause it was just blood, kills, beaten, going to jail and spit in the face,” Johnson said. “None of that’s good.”

After attending Southern University in Baton Rouge, Johnson joined the Southern Christian Leadership Conference as its youngest staff member. He described the experience as “inspirational” and “powerful.”

Though some past experiences can be “painful to talk about,” Johnson said he still continues to promote nonviolence and civil rights through the Institute of Nonviolence in Dallas.

There to support a longtime friend, Reverend Roosevelt Johnson Jr. stopped by to watch the film and celebrate such a historic event.

Since their time together at Southern University, the Johnsons have managed to stay in contact and share stories on what life was like back when everything was separate.

Freedom Riders, civil rights activists who rode buses to the South, would go through training that consisted of beating and slapping in order to develop a tolerance for it, Roosevelt Johnson said.

UNT political science junior Randi Fine went to the “Brother Outsider” screening to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. and the impact he had on society in the 1960s.

“The March on Washington is one of the most remembered civil rights activist events of all time,” said Fine. “It’s what really started the elimination of racial-segregation and the discrimination of other races, which is why it remains to be such a monumental moment in history.”

Feature photo courtesy of Brother Outsider trailer. 

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