Colman Domingo has signed up to star in the biopic ‘Rustin’, on influential civil rights and gay rights activist Bayard Rustin.
The feature comes from Michelle and Barack Obama’s production company, Higher Ground and will also feature Chris Rock, Glynn Turman and Audra McDonald.
Domingo will take on the leading role of Rustin while Rock will play onetime NAACP leader Roy Wilkins; Turman takes on the role of activist and March on Washington co-organizer A. Philip Randolph; and McDonald will portray Ella Baker one of the most influential women in the civil rights movement.
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‘Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom’ filmmaker George C. Wolfe has co-written and will direct the film, Dustin Lance Black co-write with Wolfe. Bruce Cohen is producing with Higher Ground’s Tonia Davis. Executive producing are Higher Ground’s Mark R. Wright and Alex G. Scott.
Bayard Rustin was a key figure in the early civil rights movement in the mid-20th century, leading several marches on Washington as well as organizing Freedom Rides. A practitioner of nonviolent resistance, he was arrested and beaten several times for flouting Jim Crow-era laws. He was also arrested for his sexual orientation, which he tried to keep secret since many believed it would undermine the civil rights work Rustin and others were trying to accomplish. Barack Obama awarded Rustin a Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously in 2013.