Colman Domingo Lands Lead Role in Biopic on Civil Rights Activist Bayard Rustin

Lead Photo: Photo by Jim Spellman/Getty Images
Photo by Jim Spellman/Getty Images
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Colman Domingo (Zola) is teaming up with Michelle and Barack Obama for his next film, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom star will portray gay civil rights activist Bayard Rustin in the biopic Rustin, which will be produced by the Obamas’ Higher Ground studio for Netflix.

Born in West Chester, Pennsylvania, Rustin helped organize the Freedom Riders in the late 1940s, a group of activists who challenged the non-enforcement of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that segregated public buses were unconstitutional. He also helped organize the 1962 March on Washington to fight for the rights of Blacks across the United States. The March is where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech.

Rustin will be directed and co-written by George C. Wolfe, who worked with Domingo on Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Also credited on the script is Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (Milk). Joining Domingo in the cast are Chris Rock (Spiral), Glynn Turman (Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom), and Audra McDonald (Respect).

“I think any actor worth his grain of salt really wants to feel like they’re a part of something that moves the needle on humanity,” Domingo told Remezcla this past summer.

Although Domingo was talking about his latest film Candyman at the time, his sentiment also seems to fit his role in his upcoming movie. His thoughts about the importance of how cinema can “educate and inspire” and “heal and amplify” work for any genre, especially when Domingo is part of the project.