A. Philip Randolph (April 15, 1889 – May 16, 1979) was a leader in the African-American civil-rights movement, and the American labor movement. He was a Preacher’s Kid and member of the AME Church.
Asa Philip Randolph was very active black man in his time. He was always fighting against slavery and always involved in anti-slavery organizations. Even though he was involved in some organizations, he also set up his own labor unions and became a Civil Rights Leader.. His greatest success came with the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, who elected him President in 1925. This was the first serious effort to form a labor institution for employees of the Pullman Company, which was a major employer of African Americans. This was an organization that had trouble succeeding, and finally was recognized in its later years, and finally fair pay and overtime was granted to the African American workers.
Randolph was a leader always involved in his society, helping others in the fight for freedom and equality. He never gave up a fight till the end. He was a very brave man who stood up for what he believed in and never backed down. Many say that he was that ” he was the most dangerous black in America”.
Randolph was also a Civil Rights Leader. He was one of the main people on The March on Washington. He led a huge amount of people in the fight for equality. This march was a history making time. Martin Luther King gave his, ” I Have a Dream” speech. This speech moved many people and made many to think about racism in a different way. Randolph inspired the Freedom budget, sometimes called the “Randolph Freedom budget”, which aimed to deal with the economic problems facing the black community.
Randolph was born April 15, 1889, in Crescent City, Florida, the second son of the Rev. James William Randolph, a tailor and minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and Elizabeth Robinson Randolph, a skilled seamstress. In 1891 the family moved to Jacksonville, Florida, which had a thriving, well-established African-American community. Asa excelled in literature, drama and public speaking; he also starred on the school’s baseball team, sang solos with its choir and was valedictorian of the 1907 graduating class From his father, Randolph learned that color was less important than a person’s character and conduct. From his mother, he learned the importance of education and of defending oneself physically against those who would seek to hurt one or one’s family, if necessary. Randolph remembered vividly the night his mother sat in the front room of their house with a loaded shotgun across her lap, while his father tucked a pistol under his coat and went off to prevent a mob from lynching a man at the local county jail.
In 1913 Randolph courted and married Mrs. Lucille Campbell Green, a widow, Howard University graduate and entrepreneur who shared his socialist politics. She earned enough money to support them both. The couple had no children.
In 1941, Bayard Rustin, and A. J. Muste proposed a march on Washington[ to protest racial discrimination in war industries, an end to segregation, access to defense employment, the proposal of an anti-lynching law and of the desegregation of the American Armed forces Randolph’s belief in the power of peaceful direct action was inspired partly by Mahatma Gandhi’s success in using such tactics against British occupation in India. Randolph threatened to have 50,000 blacks march on the city, it was cancelled after President of the United States Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 8802, or the Fair Employment Act. Some activists, including Rustin felt betrayed because Roosevelt’s order applied only to banning discrimination within war industries nonetheless, the Fair Employment Act is generally considered an important early civil rights victory. The group then successfully pressured President Harry S. Truman to issue Executive Order 9981 in 1948, ending segregation in the armed services.
Randolph finally realized his vision for a March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963, which attracted between 200,000-300,000 to the nation’s capital. The rally is often remembered as the high-point of the civil rights movement, and it did help keep the issue in the public consciousness. However, when President Kennedy was assassinated three months later, Civil Rights legislation was stalled in the Senate. It was not until the following year, under President Lyndon B. Johnson, that the Civil Rights Act was finally passed. In 1965, the Voting Rights Act was passed. Although King rightly deserves great credit for these legislative victories, it is hard to overestimate the importance of Randolph’s contributions to the civil rights movement.
In 1917 Randolph and Chandler Owen founded the Messenger which campaigned against lynching, opposed U.S. participation in World War I, urged African Americans to resist being drafted, to fight for an integrated society, and urged them to join radical unions. The Department of Justice called the Messenger “the most able and the most dangerous of all the Negro publications
The railroads had expanded dramatically in the early 20th century, and the jobs offered relatively good employment at a time of widespread racial discrimination. Because porters were not unionized, however, most suffered poor working conditions and were underpaid.