WEST CHESTER, PA – The Chester County History Center will host Special Screening in West Chester of the Netflix Feature Film Rustin and a an exhibit to celebrate the life and work of Bayard Rustin in light of the 60th Anniversary of the March on Washington.
On Thursday, November 2nd, the History Center will welcome guests to a cocktail hour followed by a special screening of Rustin ahead of the movie’s theatrical release. CCHC is honored to partner with Netflix to bring Rustin to Bayard’s hometown.
The powerful story of Bayard Rustin, the West Chester native and openly gay Black civil rights leader who dedicated his life to a quest for racial equality, is in the spotlight thanks to this feature film produced by Higher Ground Productions and Netflix. Colman Domingo will play the driving force behind the 1963 March on Washington in a new film from DGA Award and three-time Tony Award-winning director George C. Wolfe. From the back rooms of power to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, the new film tells the story of the civil rights movement from a never-before-seen perspective.
When asked by the History Center why Rustin’s story was so important today, Colman Domingo commented “It is important because stories like Bayard Rustin’s, and of a lot of the women in the movement as well, sort of go into the back burner and I think it is time they stood front and center in their own story to show that this was a movement of many people who don’t have big, shiny names [but were instrumental for the movement].”
For director George C. Wolfe, the project was an opportunity to spotlight Rustin as an example to aspire to. “He is a role model for what it means to be an American, what it means to daily, moment-to-moment, commit to democracy, commit to freedom, commit to possibility, commit to discovery, commit to passing on that which you know to other people,” Wolfe told Netflix in an interview conducted earlier this year. “Democracy is a muscle, and if you don’t exercise it regularly, it ceases to function.”
RUSTIN -AT-A-GLANCE INFORMATION
Netflix Release Date: November 17, 2023
In Select Theaters: November 3, 2023
Director: George C. Wolfe
Screenplay By: Julian Breece and Dustin Lance Black
Story By: Julian Breece
Producer: Bruce Cohen, Higher Ground’s Tonia Davis, George C. Wolfe
Executive Producers: Higher Ground’s Barack & Michelle Obama, Mark R. Wright, Alex G. Scott, David
Permut, Daniel Sladek, Chris Taaffe
Cast: Colman Domingo, Chris Rock, Glynn Turman, Aml Ameen, Gus Halper, CCH Pounder, Da’Vine
Joy Randolph, Johnny Ramey, Michael Potts, Lilli Kay, Jordan-Amanda Hall, Jakeem Powell, Grantham
Coleman, Jamilah Rosemond, Jules Latimer, Maxwell Whittington-Cooper, Frank Harts, Kevin Mambo,
Carra Patterson, Bill Irwin, Cotter Smith, Adrienne Warren, with Jeffrey Wright and Audra McDonald.
The special temporary exhibit, on view until November 2023, highlights Bayard Rustin and his instrumental work as the organizer of the March on Washington. The exhibit includes a first-time look at programs and memorabilia from the 1963 March donated to CCHC by Walter Naegle, Bayard Rustin’s surviving partner. The exhibit also showcases a new biographical video about Rustin with excerpts from oral history recordings. Materials from the Chester County Archives complement the biographical overview.
Conor Hepp, President of the Chester County History Center expresses: “We are honored to be part of this moment in history, to have the opportunity to partner with Netflix for this special screening in West Chester and to continue elevating and bringing awareness to Rustin’s life, inspiring work, and society-changing passion and courage. This will be a very special event for Chester County and the city of West Chester.”
The History Center’s mission is to Link the Past to the Present to Inspire the Future. As part of this mission, it is our express intention to share the history of all members of our community and their important contributions to our County and Nation. CCHC is committed to being a diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization that offers programs, events, and participation opportunities for all community members and to serving, supporting, and being accessible to the rich and diverse community of Chester County, Greater Philadelphia, and beyond. Our commitment includes but is not limited to, community members of all ages, abilities, economic circumstances, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender identity, race, and religion.