Bayard Rustin Centennial

Interracial Primer

Interracial Primer cover

       In 1941, Rustin deepened his
     engagement with pacifism by taking a
     full-time job with the Fellowship of
     Reconciliation (FOR), an interfaith
     international anti-war organization. As
     field secretary, Rustin was tasked to
     work toward the Organization’s newest
     antiwar goal, namely to forestall the
     outbreak of racial warfare inside the
     United States. Rustin traveled the US—
     including the South—giving workshops
     on race relations, conscientious
     objection, and civil disobedience and  
     non-violence to black citizens. In the
     early 1940s he wrote an “Interracial
     Primer: How You Can Help Relieve
     Tensions Between Blacks and Whites.”  

       The pamphlet set forth what would
     become a few of Rustin’s characteristic
     political themes, by calling for social
     accountability from each American, by 
     valuing work in itself, and by viewing the
     workplace as one of the most important
     situations where racial tensions must be

     Read the Interracial Primer (PDF)

    Permission from the Fellowship of