Cover image for We are one : the story of Bayard Rustin
We are one : the story of Bayard Rustin
1st ed.
Publication Information:
Honesdale, Pa. : Calkins Creek, c2007.
Physical Description:
48 p. : ill. ; 27 x 29 cm.
Reading Level:
1120 L Lexile
Personal Subject:
Captures a story of passion, courage, and triumph through Bayard's own words and archival photographs, and through spirituals and protest songs that Bayard often sang.


Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Book J 921 RUSTIN 1 1

On Order



Bayard Rustin dedicated his life to helping others--fighting injustices and discriminations--so that people could live as one. Protesting segregation long before there was a civil rights movement, he often was arrested for his beliefs and actions. As a nonviolent activist, Bayard made his mark working alongside many African American leaders, notably A. Philip Randolph and Martin Luther King, Jr. As an organizer, Bayard was largely responsible for bringing people together to walk for freedom and jobs in Washington, D.C., on that memorable summer day, August 28, 1963. With style and careful attention to history, Larry Dane Brimner captures a story of passion, courage, and triumph through Bayard's own words and archival photographs in this Jane Addams Children's Book Award winner.

Author Notes

Larry Dane Brimner was born in St. Petersburg, Florida, and spent his early childhood exploring Alaska's Kodiak Island. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in British Literature from San Diego State University, where he graduated cum laude, and later received advanced degrees in writing and curriculum development. During his twenty-year teaching career, he began to write for publication.

Brimner made his debut in children's books with the publication of BMX Freestyle in 1987. It was named an International Reading Association Children's Choice book for 1988. This title was followed by Country Bear's Good Neighbor, which the American Booksellers Association named their "Pick of the List." Brimner wrote A Migrant Family, which was named a Notable Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies (NCSS/CBC); Max and Felix , a nominee for the Kentucky Bluegrass Award; Voices From the Camps, cited as a Best Book for the Teen Age by New York Public Library; Snowboarding, an IRA Children's Choice for 1998; and the Official M&M's® Book of the Millennium, an IRA Children's Choice for 2000.

Brimner is the author of more than 110 books for young people. He also speaks to school children about the writing process or to teachers at conferences. In 2014 his title, Strike: The Farm Workers Fight for Their Rights, made the Civil Rights Hot Title's List.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

School Library Journal Review

Gr 6-10-This is a captivating biography of the man who has been called the "intellectual engineer" of the Civil Rights Movement. The book begins and ends with the March on Washington, August 28, 1963, which Rustin organized. His mentor was A. Philip Randolph and he was a lifelong adviser to Martin Luther King, Jr. Rustin was a complex, multitalented man-he was a musician, an intellectual, an organizer, and a war objector who chose to go to prison rather than serve in World War II. He was a controversial figure partly because he was at one time a Communist and he was homosexual (the latter mentioned only in an author's note). Brimner keeps the focus on Rustin's work for social justice, including his being beaten and taken to the police station in 1942 for sitting at the front of a bus; his early restaurant sit-ins; and his Journey of Reconciliation, which was a precursor to the Freedom Rides. The author's writing is lively and clear, and he adeptly places Rustin in the larger context of the Jim Crow era and the Civil Rights Movement. The attractive design, with large, clear, black-and-white photographs and plenty of white space, enhances the readability of the text. Red and blue bars emphasize important quotations, lyrics to spirituals, and some photo captions. A gem for students studying the Civil Rights Movement and an excellent addition to any American history collection.-Marcia Kochel, Olson Middle School, Bloomington, MN (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

Bayard Rustin was an important figure in the Civil Rights movement, yet he remains almost unknown to young readers. Rustin refused to give up his seat on a segregated bus several years before Rosa Parks's defiance in Montgomery, organized the 1941 March on Washington, cancelled when key demands were met by President Roosevelt, and became an advisor to Martin Luther King, organizing the 1963 March on Washington, where King gave his "I Have A Dream" speech. An effective mix of major historical events and small, telling anecdotes, along with the attractive photo-essay format, make this a fascinating volume, informative and well written. An excellent author's note matter-of-factly discusses Rustin's homosexuality, his early involvement with the Young Communist League and his pacifism and imprisonment during World War II, factors that made him controversial and a potential liability to the movement. The bibliography is skimpy, with little to guide young readers to the many other fine books on the subject, but this is an excellent addition to that growing body of literature about the Civil Rights movement. (Nonfiction. 9+) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Brimner sets Rustin's personal story against the history of segregation in his time and focuses on his leadership role, largely unacknowledged, in the struggle for civil rights. On each page, the clearly written, informal text is accompanied by eloquently captioned archival photos that include disturbing images of racist violence, as well as stirring pictures of Rustin in protest mode, passing out antiwar leaflets, advising Dr. Martin Luther King on peaceful protest, organizing the triumphant 1963 March on Washington, and more. A big part of Brimner's book is the great leader's work behind the scenes and the possible reasons why he has not received the attention he deserves brief membership in Communist party and his imprisonment for peace activism in World War II. Rustin's gay identity gets only passing mention in a final author's note. Source notes and a bibliography will guide readers to more about the man and to his writings.--Rochman, Hazel Copyright 2007 Booklist