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The Honorable Byron Rushing

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Information about The Honorable Byron Rushing

Profile image of The Honorable Byron Rushing

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
Museum Director
State Representative

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
Pork
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Caribbean
Favorite Quote:
Men May Not Get Everything They Pay For, But They Must Certainly Pay For Everything They Get.

Birthplace

Born:
7/29/1942
Birth Location:
New York, New York

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
PoliticalMakers
Occupation(s):
Museum Director
State Representative

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
Pork
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Caribbean
Favorite Quote:
Men May Not Get Everything They Pay For, But They Must Certainly Pay For Everything They Get.

Birthplace

Born:
7/29/1942
Birth Location:
New York
See how The Honorable Byron Rushing is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Massachusetts state representative Byron Douglas Rushing was born in New York City on July 29, 1942. His father, William Rushing, worked as a janitor in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City. His mother, Jamaican native Linda Turpin, migrated to New York City working as a seamstress. The family moved to Syracuse, New York, where Rushing attended Madison Junior High. He was praised for his public speaking, and entered various oratorical contests. He also attended a youth summer camp, under the direction of the Universalist Unitarian Church, which taught world peace and cultural understanding by bringing various racial, ethnic, cultural, and religious groups together. Rushing attended this camp throughout high school.

In 1960, Rushing graduated from Syracuse Central High School. Members of the Quaker church whom he met at his summer youth camp invited him to participate in another youth summer program operated by the American Friends Service Committee. Rushing was able to travel through Eastern and Western Europe. In the fall of 1960, Rushing attended Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. At the end of his junior year, Rushing decided to postpone his studies and fully dedicate his efforts to the Civil Rights Movement. He returned to Syracuse to work with the local chapter of CORE [Congress of Racial Equality] tackling issues of employment integration and police brutality.

Rushing moved to Boston, Massachusetts, in 1964 to work for the Northern Student Movement. He operated programs of youth tutoring, and voter education and registration. During this time, Rushing volunteered for various programs involving the Episcopalian church, his religious faith. He was hired by St. John's Church to set up a community information center. The Massachusetts Council for Churches then hired Rushing to establish a community organizing project called Roxbury Associates. It was at Roxbury Associates that Rushing met his first wife, Andrea Benton.

From 1967 to 1969, Rushing worked as an orderly at Rochester General Hospital. In 1969, Rushing returned to Boston as the Director of the Urban Change program for the Urban League. Between 1972 and 1985, he worked as president of the Museum of Afro-American History. As president, he helped raise money for the purchase and restoration of what was cited as the oldest African American church building in the United States, the African Meeting House.

In 1982, Rushing was elected as a representative of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. He was the chief sponsor of the law to end discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in public schools, and an original sponsor of the gay rights bill in Massachusetts. Rushing also led the Massachusetts state pension fund to launch community development investment of poor communities of Massachusetts. Rushing is an elected deputy to the General Convention of The Episcopal Church; a founding member of the Episcopal Urban Caucus; and serves on the boards of the Episcopal Women's Caucus and the Episcopal Network for Economic Justice.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of the Honorable Byron Rushing's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Byron Rushing lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Byron Rushing describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Byron Rushing lists his siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Byron Rushing describes his mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Byron Rushing describes her parents' professions
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Byron Rushing describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Byron Rushing recalls his parents' reunion
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Byron Rushing describes the neighborhood of Morrisania in the Bronx, New York
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Bryon Rushing recalls places his mother took him as a child
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Bryon Rushing remembers P.S. 2 Morrisania in the Bronx
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Bryon Rushing describes his baptism in the Presbyterian church
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Bryon Rushing describes his schools in Syracuse, New York
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Bryon Rushing recalls teachers and friends who influenced him
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Bryon Rushing describes his neighborhood in Syracuse, New York
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Bryon Rushing recalls how his mother faced employment discrimination
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Bryon Rushing recalls his experiences at Syracuse Central High School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Bryon Rushing recalls his parents' NAACP involvement
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Byron Rushing describes his involvement with the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Byron Rushing recalls meeting Ralph Abernathy and Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Byron Rushing recalls his trip to Europe with the American Friends Service Committee
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Byron Rushing recalls his decision to attend Harvard University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Byron Rushing recalls how he became involved with CORE
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Byron Rushing describes his work with CORE in Syracuse
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Byron Rushing recalls CORE's demonstration against urban renewal
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Byron Rushing explains his work with CORE and the Northern Student Movement
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Byron Rushing describes his role at the Northern Student Movement
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Byron Rushing describes the Community Voter Registration Project
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Byron Rushing describes Blue Hill Avenue's African American community
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Byron Rushing describes his work in Episcopal organizations
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Byron Rushing describes the Lower Roxbury Community Corporation
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Byron Rushing explains how he came to work for the Center for Inner City Change
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Byron Rushing recalls working with Melvin King and Hubie Jones
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Byron Rushing describes the Museum of Afro-American History
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Byron Rushing describes the accomplishments of the Museum of Afro-American History
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Byron Rushing recalls the archeological investigation of the African Meeting House
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Byron Rushing describes the Boston African American National Historic Site
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Byron Rushing reflects upon his achievements at the Museum of Afro-American History
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Byron Rushing explains his role at the Roxbury Historical Society
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Byron Rushing recalls running for the Massachusetts House of Representatives
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Byron Rushing describes Boston's Ninth Suffolk District
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - The Honorable Byron Rushing describes his roles in the Massachusetts House of Representatives
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - The Honorable Byron Rushing describes his legislative work against the apartheid
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - The Honorable Byron Rushing recalls creating Massachusetts' Burma Law
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - The Honorable Byron Rushing recalls his work for marriage equality in Massachusetts
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - The Honorable Byron Rushing describes his work to alleviate homelessness
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - The Honorable Byron Rushing describes his family life
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - The Honorable Byron Rushing recalls how Malcolm X changed his religious views
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - The Honorable Byron Rushing reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - The Honorable Byron Rushing describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - The Honorable Byron Rushing gives advice to young African Americans
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - The Honorable Byron Rushing describes how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - The Honorable Byron Rushing narrates his photographs