January 10, 2019 at 3:58 am EST | by Staff reports
Looking back: 50 years of the Blade
Black History Month, Bayard Rustin, Freedom Fighters, gay news, Washington Blade
Bayard Rustin (Washington Blade archive photo by Doug Hinckle)

This year, the Washington Blade celebrates its 50th anniversary. Each week, we’ll take a look back at memorable stories, compelling personalities and other noteworthy or amusing items from our extensive archives, which are accessible at washingtonblade.com/archives in partnership with the DC Public Library.


This week, we revisit an exclusive interview with civil rights icon Bayard Rustin from Feb. 7, 1986. Rustin died just a year later. Recently, Rustin’s surviving partner, Walter Naegle, discovered the original audio recording of the interview, conducted by Blade reporter Peg Byron. NPR’s All Things Considered aired a story about the newly uncovered audio this week; it will be played this week on the podcast Making Gay History. 


“At a given point, there was so much pressure on Dr. King about my being gay and particularly because I would not deny it, that he set up a committee to explore whether it would be dangerous for me to continue working with him,” Rustin told the Blade in the interview, which is republished in its original form below.

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