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Silence is Not an Option

This season of Silence is Not an Option is all about fearless individuals who stand up for what’s right — even when it means breaking the rules. Host Don Lemon will share stories about Harry Belafonte, Eartha Kitt, and others who used their fame to speak out against injustice. Don will also highlight the stories of change-makers who deserve greater recognition, like Claudette Colvin and Bayard Rustin. So, come meet the rabble-rousers and truth-tellers who put everything on the line when silence is not an option.

A crowd of protestors holds up signs, fists and a megaphone

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A Gay Civil Rights Leader Pushed into the Shadows
Silence is Not an Option
Jun 24, 2021

Bayard Rustin organized the March on Washington and advised Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on direct nonviolent action, but this Civil Rights hero didn’t get his proper due at the time because he was gay. For this special Pride month episode, Don Lemon affirms Rustin's rightful place in history and explores how Rustin persevered despite personal attacks. Don and CNN National Political Writer Brandon Tensley discuss Rustin's lifelong tension at the intersection of Black and LGBTQ rights, and why he only joined the gay rights movement later in life.