Black History Month- A. Philip Randolph

 

-April 15, 1889- May 16, 1979

-Labor leader and social activist.

-The son of a minister, he worked at a variety of jobs while gaining an education in Florida and then at City College of New York. He began his efforts on behalf of African-American laborers when, while working as a waiter on a coastal steamship, he organized a protest against their living conditions.

-In World War I he tried to unionize African-American shipyard workers in Virginia and elevator operators in New York City, and founded the Messenger (1917), a magazine initially designed to encourage African-American laborers to demand higher wages.

-After the war, he became more convinced than ever that unions would be the best way for African-Americans to improve their lot.

-In 1925, he founded the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and served as the president until 1968.

-A civil-rights leader also, he organized the March on Washington movement (1941), which forced the government to set up the Fair Employment Practices Committee, and he is credited with pressing President Truman to integrate the armed forces in 1948.

-Randolph was a principal organizer of the 1963 March on Washington. He was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom the following year by Lyndon B. Johnson.

-He joined the Socialist Party of America when he was just 21. Randolph co-founded the radical monthly magazine The Messenger, which operated from 1917 to 1928. Departing from popular positions, The Messenger criticized Marcus Garvey’s repatriation efforts as well as opposed U.S. entry in World War I and subsequent African-American participation in the war.

 

 

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