The first trailer for George C. Wolfe and Colman Domingo’s upcoming biopic Rustin, about gay civil rights leader Bayard Rustin, is here and it is already inspiring us.
The trailer shows how Rustin was integral in planning the historic March on Washington in 1963, where more than 250,000 people marched to the Lincoln Memorial to watch Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. deliver his “I Have a Dream” speech. It has gone down in history as one of the most important political protests ever.
Now, we get to see what Rustin’s role was in organizing the event.
The trailer also shows how Rustin’s sexuality was used against him, even in his own community, while he was fighting for the rights of everyday people in 1960’s America.
“To hell with Bayard Rustin,” NAACP Executive Director Roy Wilkins (Chris Rock) says about him. “His attention-grabbing antics make him an easy target, and let’s not mention the unmentionable.”
Rep. Adam Clayton Powell (Jeffrey Wright) is also wary of Rustin’s involvement in the movement. “Your mere presence would derail the fight for racial justice in this country for a good 10-15 years,” he warns.
“On the day I was born Black, I was also born a homosexual,” Rustin retorts.
Domingo and Wolfe previously worked together on the Oscar-nominated film Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, and Domingo recently won a Primetime Emmy Award for his role in Euphoria.
The official synopsis for Rustin reads: “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. ‘Rustin’ shines a long overdue spotlight on the extraordinary man who, alongside giants like the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., Adam Clayton Powell Jr. and Ella Baker, dared to imagine a different world, and inspired a movement in a march toward freedom.”
“We are committed to the cause of altering the trajectory of this country toward freedom. They either believe in freedom and justice for all,” Rustin says in the trailer as it shows the crowds gathering in DC. “Or they do not.”
The trailer comes on the 60th anniversary of Rustin and King’s March on Washington. Rustin also stars Glynn Turman, Aml Ameen, Gus Halper, CCH Pounder, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, Johnny Ramey, Michel Potts, and Audra McDonald.
It will be released in select theaters on November 3 before debuting on Netflix on November 17.