“For example, I have knowingly sat at the table… and in the front of a bus in the South with white people, aware of the fact that when I did so, I was bringing to the surface a fear in them which was in a sense more profound than if I had struck them, and this is in part due to the fact that if I had struck them, they would have been on familiar ground and able to defend themselves and to strike me back. But the fact that I sat there in a way so that they did not see their way clear to strike me made them more fearful than if I had struck them.”


Excerpted from I Must Resist: Bayard Rustin’s Life in Letters Rustin to Beverly White May 3, 1950

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