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Out of the Closet Screenings in Observance of Black History Month

ITHACA, NY — The Out of the Closet and Onto the Screen film series at Ithaca College will show two documentaries on Wednesday, Feb. 16, in observance of Black History Month. The double feature screening of “Living With Pride: Ruth Ellis @100” and “Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin” will begin at 7 p.m. in Textor 102. It is free and open to the public.

Born July 23, 1899, Ruth Ellis was thought to be the oldest “out” African American lesbian. Her story offers a rare opportunity to experience a century of our history as lived by one inspiring woman. The Ruth Ellis Center in Detroit honors her life and work by providing short-term and long-term residential safe space and support services for runaway, homeless and at-risk LGBT youth and young adults. Ellis passed away in 2000 at the age of 101. “Living With Pride” has won a number of awards, including the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Documentary.

A master strategist and tireless activist, Bayard Rustin is best remembered as the organizer of the 1963 March on Washington, one of the largest nonviolent protests ever held in the United States. He brought Gandhi’s protest techniques to the American civil rights movement, and helped mold Martin Luther King Jr. into an international symbol of peace and nonviolence. “Brother Outsider” recounts how, despite these achievements, Rustin was silenced, threatened, arrested, beaten, imprisoned and fired from important leadership positions, largely because he was an openly gay man in a fiercely homophobic era.

The Out of the Closet and Onto the Screen film series is sponsored by the Ithaca College Center for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Education, Outreach, and Services. The theme for this year’s series is “History and Heroes of the LGBT Movement.”

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