First things first, let me preface this article with the fact that this is a Colman Domingo stan account.
Any and everything he touches will be met with high praise over on this side. Got it? OK, cool.
Now that that’s out the way, The Root has learned that Colman Thee Domingo has been tapped for the lead role in an upcoming biopic Rustin, based on the iconic civil rights and gay rights activist Bayard Rustin.
Per a press release sent, Domingo will portray the titular character, marking the first time he’ll be portraying a lead role in a film. He’ll be joined by a cast of stellar actors and actresses including Chris Rock, who will take on the role of activist Roy Wilkins, and six-time Tony Award-winning actress Audra McDonald, who will portray activist Ella Baker. Additionally, Domingo will also be rejoined by his Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom costar Glynn Turman, who will be taking on the role of A. Philip Randolph in the forthcoming feature.
Directed by Ma Rainey’s George C. Wolfe, Rustin will tell the story of “charismatic, gay, civil rights activist Bayard Rustin, who overcame an onslaught of obstacles, and altered the course of American history by organizing the 1963 March on Washington.”
More on Rustin’s activism per The Hollywood Reporter:
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 (and was indeed used by racist politicians). Rustin also helped to organize 1963’s March on Washington, the famous rally where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. Barack Obama awarded Rustin a Presidential Medal of Freedom posthumously in 2013.
Rustin will also be the first feature film produced by the Obama’s Higher Ground. Though the film is expected to drop on Netflix, there’s no word yet on a potential premiere date.
Upon hearing the news, the Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice sent out a tweet in support of Domingo and the film, writing: “Thank you @colmandomingo . Your powerful voice helps amplify Bayard Rustin, Godfather of Intersectionality, Planned the March, Brought non-violence to the Movement, Inspired the Freedom Riders, Lost to history because of who he loved [and] Who he was. Angelic Troublemakers unite[sic].”