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Post submitted by Maureen McCarty, former HRC Deputy Director of Marketing

Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin and National Association for the Advancement of Colored People President Ben Jealous co-authored an article for the Huffington Post today in celebation of Black History Month and the often-unsung hero of the civil rights movement, Baynard Rustin.

Rustin blazed a trail as a civil rights advocate as he fought for his equality as a openly gay black man in the 1950s and 60s. Rustin left himself vulnerable to criticism from many, but maintained the belief that silence about either identity meant he accepted the system of discrimination that allowed hatred about both to persist."

Out of dedication to his life and legacy, let us uplift the stories of LGBT African-Americans who felt and still feel the burdens of discrimination -- those whose very lives illustrate the insistent fact that the fight to treat all people equally is both this country's greatest accomplishment and its greatest unfinished obligation...

And we're proud that President Barack Obama used his second inaugural address to link the Civil Rights movement and the LGBT Equality movement just last month. But long before a president like Barack Obama was even possible, Bayard Rustin was preaching an equal future. We shouldn't forget his sacrifice, and the greatest tribute to his legacy would be to finish his work.

HRC is proud to partner with the NAACP in our mutual efforts to bring equality to all Americans. Read the post in its entirety on The Huffington Post.

Filed under: Media, Communities of Color

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