A. Philip Randolph

Asa Philip Randolph[1] (April 15, 1889 – May 16, 1979) was a leader in the Civil Rights Movement, the American labor movement, and socialist political parties.

In 1925, he organized and led the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, the first predominantly African-American labor union. In the early Civil Rights Movement and the Labor Movement, Randolph was a voice that would not be silenced. His continuous agitation with the support of fellow labor rights activists against unfair labor practices in relation to people of color eventually led President Franklin D. Roosevelt to issue Executive Order 8802 in 1941, banning discrimination in the defense industries during World War II. The group then successfully pressured President Harry S. Truman to issue Executive Order 9981 in 1948, ending segregation in the armed services.

In 1963, Randolph was the head of the March on Washington, which was organized by Bayard Rustin, at which Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his "I Have A Dream" speech. Randolph inspired the "Freedom Budget", sometimes called the "Randolph Freedom budget", which aimed to deal with the economic problems facing the black community, it was published by the Randolph Institute in January 1967 as "A Freedom Budget for All Americans".[2]

A. Philip Randolph
A. Philip Randolph 1963 NYWTS
Randolph in 1963
Asa Philip Randolph

April 15, 1889
Crescent City, Florida, U.S.
DiedMay 16, 1979 (aged 90)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Lucille Campbell Green Randolph (m. 1914)

Early life and education

Randolph was born April 15, 1889, in Crescent City, Florida,[3] the second son of the Rev. James William Randolph, a tailor and minister[3] in an 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.[4]

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.

Asa and his brother, James, were superior students. They attended the Cookman Institute in East Jacksonville, the only academic high school in Florida for African Americans.[5] Asa excelled in literature, drama, and public speaking; he also starred on the school's baseball team, sang solos with the school choir, and was valedictorian of the 1907 graduating class.

After graduation, Randolph worked odd jobs and devoted his time to singing, acting, and reading. Reading W. E. B. Du Bois' The Souls of Black Folk convinced him that the fight for social equality was most important. Barred by discrimination from all but manual jobs in the South, Randolph moved to New York City in 1911, where he worked at odd jobs and took social sciences courses at City College.[4]

Marriage and family

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.[4]

Early career

Shortly after Randolph's marriage, he helped organize the Shakespearean Society in Harlem. With them he played the roles of Hamlet, Othello, and Romeo, among others. Randolph aimed to become an actor but gave up after failing to win his parents' approval.

In New York, Randolph became familiar with socialism and the ideologies espoused by the Industrial Workers of the World. He met Columbia University Law student Chandler Owen, and the two developed a synthesis of Marxist economics and the sociological ideas of Lester Frank Ward, arguing that people could only be free if not subject to economic deprivation.[4] At this point, Randolph developed what would become his distinctive form of civil rights activism, which emphasized the importance of collective action as a way for black people to gain legal and economic equality. To this end, he and Owen opened an employment office in Harlem to provide job training for southern migrants and encourage them to join trade unions.[4]

Like others in the labor movement, Randolph favored immigration restriction. He opposed African Americans' having to compete with people willing to work for low wages. Unlike other immigration restrictionists, however, he rejected the notions of racial hierarchy that became popular in the 1920s.[6]

In 1917, Randolph and Chandler Owen founded The Messenger[7] with the help of the Socialist Party of America. It was a radical monthly magazine, 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." When The Messenger began publishing the work of black poets and authors, a critic called it "one of the most brilliantly edited magazines in the history of Negro journalism."[4]

Soon thereafter, however, the editorial staff of The Messenger became divided by three issues – the growing rift between West Indian and African Americans, support for the Bolshevik revolution, and support for Marcus Garvey's Back-to-Africa movement. In 1919, most West Indian radicals joined the new Communist Party, while African-American leftists – Randolph included – mostly supported the Socialist Party. The infighting left The Messenger short of financial support, and it went into decline.[4]

Randolph ran on the Socialist Party ticket for New York State Comptroller in 1920, and for Secretary of State of New York in 1922, unsuccessfully.[7]

Union organizer

Randolph's first experience with labor organization came in 1917, when he organized a union of elevator operators in New York City.[7] In 1919 he became president of the National Brotherhood of Workers of America,[8] a union which organized among African-American shipyard and dock workers in the Tidewater region of Virginia.[9] The union dissolved in 1921, under pressure from the American Federation of Labor.

His greatest success came with the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, who elected him President in 1925.[7] 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. 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.[4][10]

Under Randolph's direction, the BSCP managed to enroll 51 percent of porters within a year, to which Pullman responded with violence and firings. In 1928, after failing to win mediation under the Watson-Parker Railway Labor Act, Randolph planned a strike. This was postponed after rumors circulated that Pullman had 5,000 replacement workers ready to take the place of BSCP members. As a result of its perceived ineffectiveness membership of the union declined;[4] by 1933 it had only 658 members and electricity and telephone service at headquarters had been disconnected because of nonpayment of bills.[11]

Fortunes of the BSCP changed with the election of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932. With amendments to the Railway Labor Act in 1934, porters were granted rights under federal law. Membership in the Brotherhood jumped to more than 7,000. After years of bitter struggle, the Pullman Company finally began to negotiate with the Brotherhood in 1935, and agreed to a contract with them in 1937. Employees gained $2,000,000 in pay increases, a shorter workweek, and overtime pay.[12] Randolph maintained the Brotherhood's affiliation with the American Federation of Labor through the 1955 AFL-CIO merger.[13]

Civil rights leader

Randolph in 1942.

Through his success with the BSCP, Randolph emerged as one of the most visible spokespeople for African-American civil rights. In 1941, he, Bayard Rustin, and A. J. Muste proposed a march on Washington[7] 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.[14] 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.[15] Randolph threatened to have 50,000 blacks march on the city;[11] it was cancelled after President of the United States Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 8802, or the Fair Employment Act.[7] Some activists, including Rustin,[16] felt betrayed because Roosevelt's order applied only to banning discrimination within war industries and not the armed forces. Nonetheless, the Fair Employment Act is generally considered an important early civil rights victory.

And the movement continued to gain momentum. In 1942, an estimated 18,000 blacks gathered at Madison Square Garden to hear Randolph kick off a campaign against discrimination in the military, in war industries, in government agencies, and in labor unions.[17] Following passage of the Act, during the Philadelphia transit strike of 1944, the government backed African-American workers' striking to gain positions formerly limited to white employees.[18]

Buoyed by these successes, Randolph and other activists continued to press for the rights of African Americans. In 1947, Randolph, along with colleague Grant Reynolds, renewed efforts to end discrimination in the armed services, forming the Committee Against Jim Crow in Military Service, later renamed the League for Non-Violent Civil disobedience. When President Truman asked Congress for a peacetime draft law, Randolph urged young black men to refuse to register. Since Truman was vulnerable to defeat in 1948 and needed the support of the growing black population in northern states, he eventually capitulated.[4] On July 26, 1948, President Harry S. Truman abolished racial segregation in the armed forces through Executive Order 9981.[19]

In 1950, along with Roy Wilkins, Executive Secretary of the NAACP, and, Arnold Aronson,[20] a leader of the National Jewish Community Relations Advisory Council, Randolph founded the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR). LCCR has been a major civil rights coalition. It coordinated a national legislative campaign on behalf of every major civil rights law since 1957.

Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. (Leaders of the march) - NARA - 542056
Leaders of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in Washington, D.C.

Randolph and Rustin also formed an important alliance with Martin Luther King, Jr. In 1957, when schools in the south resisted school integration following Brown v. Board of Education, Randolph organized the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom with Martin Luther King, Jr. In 1958 and 1959, Randolph organized Youth Marches for Integrated Schools in Washington, DC.[4] At the same time, he arranged for Rustin to teach King how to organize peaceful demonstrations in Alabama and to form alliances with progressive whites.[16] The protests directed by James Bevel in cities such as Birmingham and Montgomery provoked a violent backlash by police and the local Ku Klux Klan throughout the summer of 1963, which was captured on television and broadcast throughout the nation and the world. Rustin later remarked that Birmingham "was one of television's finest hours. Evening after evening, television brought into the living-rooms of America the violence, brutality, stupidity, and ugliness of {police commissioner} Eugene "Bull" Connor's effort to maintain racial segregation."[21] Partly as a result of the violent spectacle in Birmingham, which was becoming an international embarrassment, the Kennedy administration drafted civil rights legislation aimed at ending Jim Crow once and for all.[21]

External audio
National Press Club Luncheon Speakers, A. Philip Randolph, August 26, 1963, 55:17, Randolph speaks starting at 4:56 about the forthcoming March on Washington, Library of Congress[22]

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 and Bevel rightly deserve great credit for these legislative victories, the importance of Randolph's contributions to the Civil Rights Movement is large.


Randolph avoided speaking publicly about his religious beliefs to avoid alienating his diverse constituencies.[23] Though he is sometimes identified as an atheist,[4] particularly by his detractors,[23] Randolph identified with the African Methodist Episcopal Church he was raised in.[23] He pioneered the use of prayer protests, which became a key tactic of the civil rights movement.[23] In 1973, he signed the Humanist Manifesto II.[24]


Randolph died in his Manhattan apartment on May 16, 1979. For several years prior to his death, he had a heart condition and high blood pressure. He had no known living relatives, as his wife had died in 1963, before the March on Washington.[25]

Awards and accolades

A. Philip Randolph Medal of Freedom
Randolph Receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1964 from President Lyndon B. Johnson.


Randolph had a significant impact on the Civil Rights Movement from the 1930s onward. The Montgomery Bus Boycott in Alabama was directed by E.D. Nixon, who had been a member of the BSCP and was influenced by Randolph's methods of nonviolent confrontation.[4] Nationwide, the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s used tactics pioneered by Randolph, such as encouraging African Americans to vote as a bloc, mass voter registration, and training activists for nonviolent direct action.[28]

In buildings, streets, and trains

Randolph Museum
A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum, Chicago
  • Amtrak named one of their best sleeping cars, Superliner II Deluxe Sleeper 32503, the "A. Philip Randolph" in his honor.
  • A. Philip Randolph Academies of Technology, in Jacksonville, FL, is named in his honor.
  • A. Phillip Randolph Boulevard in Jacksonville, Florida, formerly named Florida Avenue, was renamed in A. Phillip Randolph's honor. It is located on Jacksonville's east side, near EverBank Field.
  • A. Philip Randolph Campus High School (New York City High School 540), located on the City College of New York campus, is named in honor of Randolph. The school serves students predominantly from Harlem and surrounding neighborhoods.[29]
  • The A. Philip Randolph Career Academy in Philadelphia, Pa was named in his honor.
  • The A. Philip Randolph Career and Technician Center in Detroit, MI is named in his honor.
  • The A. Philip Randolph Institute is named in his honor.
  • A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum is in Chicago's Pullman Historic District.
  • Edward Waters College in Jacksonville, Florida houses a permanent exhibit on the life and accomplishments of A. Philip Randolph.[30]
  • Randolph Street, in Crescent City, Florida, was dedicated to him.
  • A. Philip Randolph Library, at Borough of Manhattan Community College
  • A. Philip Randolph Square park in Central Harlem was renamed to honor A. Philip Randolph in 1964 by the City Council, under a local law introduced by Council Member J. Raymond Jones and signed by Mayor John V. Lindsay. In 1981, a group of loosely organized residents began acting as stewards of the park, during the dark days of abandonment and disinvestment in Central Harlem. By 2010 that group, now the Friends of A. Philip Randolph Square--founded by Gregory C. Baggett, who named longterm residents Ms. Gloria Wright; Ms. Ivy Walker; and Mr. Cleveland Manley, as Trustee of the park--would be formally incorporated to provide better stewardship and programming at a time when the neighborhood would be undergoing rapid growth and diversification. In 2018, the Friends of A. Philip Randolph Square would further expand the scope of its work beyond stewardship over the park to prepare a major revitalization plan "to improve conditions in the park and the neighborhood around the park" operating under a new entity, the A. Philip Randolph Neighborhood Development Alliance that seeks to obtain broad neighborhood and community representation for its revitalization plan based on building the personal and collective assets within the neighborhood.

Arts, entertainment, and media

+ 1994 Documentary A. Philip Randolph: For Jobs and Freedom, PBS


See also


  1. ^ Encyclopædia Britannica
  2. ^ A Budget for All Americans pdf
  3. ^ a b "Spartacus Educational". Spartcus School. Archived from the original on August 5, 2011. Retrieved August 28, 2011.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Pfeffer, Paula F. (2000). "Randolph; Asa Philip". American National Biography Online. Oxford University Press. Retrieved February 27, 2013.
  5. ^ Paula F. Pfeffer, A. Philip Randolph, Pioneer of the Civil Rights Movement, Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1990, p. 8.
  6. ^ Scott, Daryl (June 1999). ""Immigrant Indigestion" A. Philip Randolph: Radical and Restrictionist". Center for Immigration Studies. Archived from the original on October 31, 2009. Retrieved November 27, 2009.
  7. ^ a b c d e f "Asa Philip Randolph". Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia: 280. 2010. Retrieved August 28, 2011.(subscription required)
  8. ^ Your History online, accessed August 17, 2010
  9. ^ Crisis, November 1951, p626
  10. ^ Alan Derickson, "'Asleep and Awake at the Same Time': Sleep Denial among Pullman Porters," Labor: Studies in Working-Class History of the Americas 5: 3 (Fall 2008): 13–44
  11. ^ a b Lubell, Samuel (1956). The Future of American Politics (2nd ed.). Anchor Press. p. 232.
  12. ^ Current Biography, 1940, pp. 671–72
  13. ^ Harris, William H. (1982). The Harder We Run: Black Workers since the Civil War. New York. p. 92.
  14. ^ Foner, Eric (February 1, 2012). Give Me Liberty!: An American History (3 ed.). W. W. Norton & Company. p. 697. ISBN 0-393-93553-1.
  15. ^ Pfeffer (1990), A. Philip Randolph, p. 58.
  16. ^ a b Melvyn Dubofsky. "Rustin, Bayard"; American National Biography Online, February 2000.
  17. ^ "Negroes to Fight Employment Bias." New York Times (1923–Current File), June 13, 1942, (accessed February 27, 2013).
  18. ^ "Urban League Lauds U. S. Action in Strike." New York Times (1923–Current File), August 14, 1944, (accessed February 27, 2013).
  19. ^ "Labor Hall of Fame Honoree (1989): A. Philip Randoph". US Department of Labor. Archived from the original on May 10, 2009. Retrieved November 27, 2009.
  20. ^ "About the Leadership Conference". civilrights.org. Archived from the original on October 27, 2010. Retrieved October 28, 2010.
  21. ^ a b Jervis Anderson, Bayard Rustin: Troubles I've Seen: A Biography. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, p. 244.
  22. ^ "National Press Club Luncheon Speakers, A. Philip Randolph, August 26, 1963". Library of Congress. Retrieved October 20, 2016.
  23. ^ a b c d Taylor, Cynthia (2005). A. Philip Randolph: The Religious Journey of an African American Labor Leader. NYU Press. ISBN 978-0-8147-8287-3. Archived from the original on March 29, 2012. Retrieved September 22, 2011.
  24. ^ Humanist Manifesto II, 1973, archived from the original on November 8, 2011
  25. ^ The Associated Press (May 17, 1979). "A. Philip Randolph Is Dead; Pioneer in Rights and Labor". New York Times. New York. Retrieved January 14, 2017.
  26. ^ "A. Philip Randolph inducted into Civil Rights Hall of Fame by Gov. Scott". First Coast Press. Archived from the original on February 22, 2014. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
  27. ^ "Eugene V. Debs Award". Eugene V. Debs Foundation Website. Eugene V. Debs Foundation. September 18, 2017.
  28. ^ Pfeffer (1990), A. Philip Randolph, p. 305.
  29. ^ "M540: New York City High School 540". NYC School Portals.
  30. ^ "Edward Waters College Unveils Exhibit to Honor A. Philip Randolph". First Coast News. Multimedia Holdings Corporation. February 25, 2006. Archived from the original on January 23, 2013. Retrieved October 3, 2012.
  31. ^ Asante, Molefi Kete (2002). 100 Greatest African Americans: A Biographical Encyclopedia. Amherst, New York: Prometheus Books. p. 255. ISBN 1-57392-963-8.
  32. ^ Rourke, Mary (September 12, 2008). "L.A. sculptor whose subject was African Americans". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 27, 2009.
  33. ^ "Boston Cultural Sites". SoulOfAmerica. Retrieved November 27, 2009.
  34. ^ "African American Subjects on United States Postage Stamps" (PDF).
  35. ^ Hendrickson III, Kenneth E., ed. The encyclopedia of the industrial revolution in world history. Vol. 3. Rowman & Littlefield, 2014. p770-771

Further reading

  • Jervis Anderson, A. Philip Randolph: A Biographical Portrait. New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1973.
  • Thomas R. Brooks and A.H. Raskin, "A. Philip Randolph, 1889–1979," The New Leader, June 4, 1979, pp. 6–9.
  • Daniel S. Davis, Mr. Black Labor: The Story of A. Philip Randolph, Father of the Civil Rights Movement. New York: Dutton, 1972.
  • Paul Delaney, "A. Philip Randolph, Rights Leader, Dies: President Leads Tributes," New York Times, May 18, 1979, pg. B4.
  • Andrew E. Kersten, A. Philip Randolph: A Life in the Vanguard Rowman and Littlefield, 2006.
  • Andrew E. Kersten and Clarence Lang (eds.), Reframing Randolph: Labor, Black Freedom, and the Legacies of A. Philip Randolph. New York: New York University Press, 2015.
  • William H. Harris, "A. Philip Randolph as a Charismatic Leader, 1925–1941", Journal of Negro History, vol. 64 (1979), pp. 301–315.
  • Paul Le Blanc and Michael Yates, A Freedom Budget for All Americans: Recapturing the Promise of the Civil Rights Movement in the Struggle for Economic Justice Today. with Michael D. Yates. New York: Monthly Review Press, 2013.
  • Manning Marable, "A. Philip Randolph and the Foundations of Black American Socialism", Radical America, vol. 14 (March–April 1980), pp. 6–29.
  • Paula F. Pfeffer, A. Philip Randolph, Pioneer of the Civil Rights Movement (1990; Louisiana State University Press, 1996). ISBN 978-0-8071-2075-0
  • Cynthia Taylor, A. Philip Randolph: The Religious Journey of An African American Labor Leader (NYU Press, 2006). ISBN 978-0-8147-8287-3
  • Sarah E. Wright, A. Philip Randolph: Integration in the Workplace (Silver Burdett Press, 1990), ISBN 0-382-09922-2

External links


10,000 Black Men Named George

10,000 Black Men Named George is a 2002 Showtime TV movie about A. Philip Randolph and his coworkers Milton Webster and Ashley Totten. The title refers to the custom of the time when Pullman porters, all of whom were black, were addressed as "George".

A. Philip Randolph Academies of Technology

A. Philip Randolph Academies of Technology, also known as Randolph Skill Center High School and formerly known as Northside Skills Center, is one of twelve high schools in Jacksonville, Florida (of nineteen in the Duval County Public Schools network) to offer the advanced curriculum and skills training of Duval County's MAGNET programs. It was the first of three skill centers to be built in Jacksonville for the sole purpose of teaching trades (along with Westside Skills Center and Southside Skills Center, now known as Frank H. Peterson Academies of Technology and Southside Middle School, respectively) before being converted to academic use in 1997.

A. Philip Randolph Campus High School

The A. Philip Randolph Campus High School is a four-year public high school in New York City. It is located in Harlem, adjacent to the City College of New York. It occupies a landmark building formerly occupied by The High School of Music & Art. The school was established in 1979 as an educational collaboration between the Board of Education and The City College of New York. The high school is open to all New York City residents, and more than 90% of its graduates attend college. Its daily attendance rate is 90 percent or better throughout the year. The students may take eleven advanced placement (AP) courses in five subject areas as well as college courses at Randolph, The City College, and Borough of Manhattan Community College. In doing so, many students earn college credits while attending high school.As of the 2014-15 school year, the school had an enrollment of 1,367 students and 65.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 21.0:1. There were 1,100 students (80.5% of enrollment) eligible for free lunch and 74 (5.4% of students) eligible for reduced-cost lunch.

A. Philip Randolph Career Academy

A. Philip Randolph Career Academy is a Philadelphia public high school that is named in honor of Asa Phillip Randolph and is run by the Philadelphia School District. The Principal is Dr. Michelle Burns. A. Philip Randolph was once part of Dobbins/Randolph together, but now they are two different campuses. They share the football team.

A. Philip Randolph Institute

The A. Philip Randolph Institute (APRI) is an organization for African-American trade unionists. APRI advocates social, labor, and economic change at the state and federal level, using legal and legislative means.

Arnold Aronson

Arnold Aronson (March 11, 1911 – February 17, 1998) was a founder of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights and served as its executive secretary from 1950 to 1980. In 1941 he worked with A. Philip Randolph to pressure President Franklin D. Roosevelt to issue Executive Order 8802, opening jobs in the federal bureaucracy and in the defense industries to minorities. A close associate of Randolph and Roy Wilkins, Aronson played an important role planning the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Justice. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1998.

Bayard Rustin

Bayard Rustin (; March 17, 1912 – August 24, 1987) was an American leader in social movements for civil rights, socialism, nonviolence, and gay rights.

Rustin worked with A. Philip Randolph on the March on Washington Movement in 1941 to press for an end to discrimination in employment. Rustin later organized Freedom Rides and helped to organize the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to strengthen Martin Luther King Jr.'s leadership, teaching King about nonviolence and later serving as an organizer for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.After the passage of the civil rights legislation of 1964–65, Rustin became the head of the AFL–CIO's A. Philip Randolph Institute, which promoted the integration of formerly all-white unions and promoted the unionization of African Americans. During the 1970s and 1980s, Rustin served on many humanitarian missions, such as aiding refugees from Communist Vietnam and Cambodia. At the time of his death in 1987, he was on a humanitarian mission in Haiti.

Rustin was a gay man who had been arrested early in his career for engaging in public sex. Due to criticism over his sexuality, he usually acted as an influential adviser behind the scenes to civil-rights leaders. In the 1980s, he became a public advocate on behalf of gay causes.

Later in life, Rustin shifted ideologically towards neoconservatism, for which President Ronald Reagan posthumously praised him after his death in 1987.On November 20, 2013, President Barack Obama posthumously awarded Rustin the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Big Six (activists)

The Big Six refer to the chairmen, presidents, and leaders of six prominent civil rights organizations active during the height of the Civil Rights Movement who were instrumental in the organization of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963.

They are:

Martin Luther King Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968): the chairman of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) was a Baptist minister, activist, and the most famous leader of the Civil Rights Movement. King won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 and he posthumously won the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977, nine years after his assassination in 1968. For his promotion of nonviolence and racial equality, King is considered a peacemaker and martyr by many people around the world. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in the United States was established in his honor, and a memorial to him stands on the nation's National Mall.

James Farmer (January 12, 1920 – July 9, 1999): In 1942 Farmer founded the Congress of Racial Equality or CORE, a pacifist organization dedicated to achieving racial harmony and equality through nonviolence, and stayed active in the Civil Rights Movement through the 1950s and 1960s. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1998, shortly before his death in 1999.

John Lewis (born February 21, 1940): Became a leader in the Civil Rights Movement as president of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and as a participant with other civil rights leaders such as Diane Nash, James Bevel, and Bernard Lafayette in the Nashville Student Movement (1959–62). John Lewis was one of the original 13 Freedom Riders. Lewis represented SNCC with a speech at the August 28, 1963 March on Washington. Lewis has represented the 5th District of Georgia in the United States House of Representatives since 1987, a district which includes almost all of Atlanta.

A. Philip Randolph (April 15, 1889 – May 16, 1979) was a socialist in the labor movement and the Civil Rights Movement. In 1925, Randolph organized the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. This was the first serious effort to form a labor union for the employees of the Pullman Company, which was a major employer of African Americans.

Roy Wilkins (August 30, 1901 – September 8, 1981) was a prominent civil rights activist in the United States from the 1930s to the 1970s. In 1955, Wilkins was named executive director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He had an excellent reputation as an articulate spokesperson for the Civil Rights Movement. He participated in the March on Washington (1963), the Selma to Montgomery marches (1965), and the March Against Fear (1966).

Whitney Young (July 31, 1921 – March 11, 1971) spent most of his career working to end employment discrimination in the South and turning the National Urban League from a relatively passive civil rights organization into one that aggressively fought for justice.In James Farmer's autobiography, Lay Bare the Heart, he identified the term "Big Six" as having originated with the founding of the Council for United Civil Rights Leadership. Farmer did not include A. Philip Randolph in his listing of the "Big Six", instead listing Dorothy Height, president of the National Council of Negro Women as the sixth member of the group. Farmer also noted that the press often referred to the group as the "Big Four", excluding Height and John Lewis. Farmer attributed their omission to sexism and age bias, respectively.Patrick Henry Bass, journalist and historian of the March on Washington, described the rise of these leaders to celebrity: "Increasingly, these six powerful men lived in two worlds: the political and the personal, one white, in which they were still strangers but becoming increasingly familiar with its insider/outsider rules; the other, black, where they were treated as extended members of the family."

Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters

The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (BSCP) was, in 1925, the first labor organization led by African Americans to receive a charter in the American Federation of Labor (AFL). It merged in 1978 with the Brotherhood of Railway and Airline Clerks (BRAC), now known as the Transportation Communications International Union.

The leaders of the BSCP—including A. Philip Randolph, its founder and first president, and C. L. Dellums, its vice president and second president—became leaders in the Civil Rights Movement and continued to play a significant role in it after it focused on the eradication of segregation in the Southern United States. BSCP members such as E. D. Nixon were among the leadership of local movements by virtue of their organizing experience, constant movement between communities and freedom from economic dependence on local authorities.

Executive Order 8802

Executive Order 8802 was signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on July 25, 1941, to prohibit ethnic or racial discrimination in the nation's defense industry. It also set up the Fair Employment Practice Committee. It was the first federal action, though not a law, to promote equal opportunity and prohibit employment discrimination in the United States. Many citizens of Italian or German ethnicity were affected by World War II and this was impeding the war effort and lowering morale. This ethnic factor was a major motivation for Roosevelt. The President's statement that accompanied the Order cited the war effort, saying that "the democratic way of life within the nation can be defended successfully only with the help and support of all groups," and cited reports of discrimination:

There is evidence available that needed workers have been barred from industries engaged in defense production solely because of considerations of race, creed, color or national origin, to the detriment of workers' morale and of national unity.

The executive order had also been demanded by civil rights activists A. Philip Randolph, Walter White, and others involved in the March on Washington Movement who had planned a march on Washington, D.C. in 1941 to protest racial discrimination in industry and the military. They suspended the march after Executive Order 8802 was issued.The order required federal agencies and departments involved with defense production to ensure that vocational and training programs were administered without discrimination as to "race, creed, color, or national origin." All defense contracts were to include provisions that barred private contractors from discrimination as well.

Florida AFL–CIO

Florida AFL–CIO is a statewide federation of labor unions in the state of Florida affiliated with the AFL-CIO. The federation's membership consists of about 450 local unions from 41 international unions (or about 500,000 active and retired workers). The headquarters of the organization are located in Tallahassee, Florida.

The Florida AFL–CIO was formed in 1958 with the merger of the Florida State Federation of Labor and the Florida Congress of Industrial Organizations.

The federation engages in legislative and political work, labor movement advocacy, research, and member mobilization and education. In 2005, after the disaffiliation of several unions to the Change to Win Federation (CTW), the Florida AFL–CIO established the United Labor Lobby as a way for AFL-CIO and CTW unions to work together on legislative issues.

The Florida AFL–CIO publishes a bi-weekly newspaper, Solidarity in the Sunshine.

The federation also hands out an A. Philip Randolph Award each year. Individuals are nominated by a committee of the Florida AFL–CIO, and the prize awarded at the annual Florida Labor Hall of Fame Gala each odd-numbered year. There may be none or several award recipients in a given year.

Husted v. Randolph Institute

Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute, No. 16-980, 584 U.S. ___ (2018), was a case before the Supreme Court of the United States regarding Ohio's voter registration laws. At issue was whether federal law, 52 U.S.C. § 20507, permits Ohio's list-maintenance process, which uses a registered voter's voter inactivity as a reason to send a confirmation notice to that voter under the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 and the Help America Vote Act of 2002. If the mail is returned, the voter is stricken from the rolls, a practice called voter caging. The Court ruled in a 5–4 decision that Ohio's law did not violate federal laws.

Lucille Campbell Green Randolph

Lucille Campbell Green Randolph (1883–1963) was an early graduate of Madam C. J. Walker's Lelia Beauty College, opening and running a successful salon in New York City. She was married to the civil rights activist A. Philip Randolph and was able to finance his newspaper "The Messenger".

March on Washington Movement

The March on Washington Movement (MOWM), 1941–1946, organized by activists A. Philip Randolph and Bayard Rustin as a tool to produce a mass march on Washington, D.C., was designed to pressure the U.S. government into desegregating the armed forces and providing fair working opportunities for African Americans. When President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 8802 in 1941, prohibiting discrimination in the defense industry under contract to federal agencies, Randolph and collaborators called off the march.

Randolph continued to promote non-violent actions to advance goals for African Americans. Future civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. and other younger men were strongly influenced by Randolph and his ideals and methods.

Pullman National Monument

Pullman National Monument, also known as The Pullman District and Pullman Historic District, is located in Chicago and was the first model, planned industrial community in the United States. The district is significant for its historical origins in the Pullman Company, one of the most famous company towns in the United States, and scene of the violent 1894 Pullman strike. It was built for George Pullman as a place to produce the famous Pullman sleeping cars.Originally built beyond the Chicago city limits, it is now in what is the Pullman community area of Chicago, the district includes the Pullman factory and also the Hotel Florence, named after George Pullman's daughter. Also within the district is the A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum, named for the prominent leader A. Philip Randolph, which recognizes and explores African American labor history. Parts of the site, in recent decades have been owned by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency prior to gifting them to the federal government. Additional grounds remain owned by the state, as The Pullman State Historic Site. The Pullman District, including the national mounument, state historic site, and private homes is east of Cottage Grove Avenue, from East 103rd St. to East 115th St. It was named a Chicago Landmark district on October 16, 1972. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 8, 1969 and declared a National Historic Landmark on December 30, 1970.Preservationists had hoped to extend the district to include Schlitz Row, but the taverns located there have been demolished. The district was named a National Monument on February 19, 2015, making it a component of the National Park System. In celebration of the 2018 Illinois Bicentennial, Pullman was selected as one of the Illinois 200 Great Places by the American Institute of Architects Illinois component (AIA Illinois) and was recognized by USA Today Travel magazine, as one of AIA Illinois' selections for Illinois 25 Must See Places.

Pullman porter

Pullman porters were men hired to work on the railroads as porters on sleeping cars. Starting shortly after the American Civil War, George Pullman sought out former slaves to work on his sleeper cars. Pullman porters served American railroads from the late 1860s until the Pullman Company ceased operations on December 31, 1968, though some sleeping-car porters continued working on cars operated by the railroads themselves and, beginning in 1971, Amtrak. The term "porter" has been superseded in modern American usage by "sleeping car attendant," with the former term being considered "somewhat derogatory."Until the 1960s, Pullman porters were exclusively black, and have been widely credited with contributing to the development of the black middle class in America. Under the leadership of A. Philip Randolph, Pullman porters formed the first all-black union, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters in 1925. Formation of the union was instrumental in the advancement of the Civil Rights Movement. Porters worked under the supervision of a Pullman conductor (distinct from the railroad's own conductor in overall charge of the train), who was invariably white.In addition to sleeping cars, Pullman also provided parlor cars and dining cars used by some railroads that did not operate their own; the dining cars were typically staffed with African-American cooks and waiters, under the supervision of a white steward: "With the advent of the dining car, it was no longer possible to have the conductor and porters do double duty: a dining car required a trained staff. . . . depending on the train and the sophistication of the meals, a staff could consist of a dozen men."Pullman also employed African-American maids on deluxe trains to care for women's needs, especially women with children; in 1926, Pullman employed about 200 maids and over 10,000 porters. Maids assisted ladies with bathing, gave manicures and dressed hair, sewed and pressed clothing, shined shoes, and helped care for children. The Central of Georgia Railroad continued using this service as a selling point in their advertisements for the Nancy Hanks well into the 1950s.

Social Democrats, USA

Social Democrats, USA (SDUSA) is an American association of social democrats founded in 1972. The Socialist Party of America (SPA) had stopped running independent candidates for President and consequently the word Party in the SPA's name had confused the public. Replacing Socialist with Social Democrats, SDUSA clarified its vision to Americans who confused social democracy with Soviet Communism which SDUSA opposed.In response, former SPA Co-Chairman Michael Harrington resigned from SDUSA in 1973 and founded the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee (DSOC), which criticized SDUSA's anti-communism and welcomed the New Politics movement associated with George McGovern and the New Left. SDUSA members opposed McGovern's politics and a few of them helped to start the Coalition for a Democratic Majority (CDM) and such members have been called "Scoop" Jackson Democrats or neoconservatives (or both). SDUSA's members had been active in the civil rights movement, which had been led since the 1940s by A. Philip Randolph. SDUSA's leaders had organized the 1963 March on Washington, during which Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech. Under the leadership of Randolph and Bayard Rustin, SDUSA championed Rustin's emphasis on economic inequality as the most important issue facing African Americans after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. SDUSA's efforts to reduce economic inequality led to a focus on labor unions and economic policy and SDUSA members were active in the AFL–CIO confederation as well as in individual unions, especially the American Federation of Teachers (AFT).

SDUSA's electoral strategy ("realignment") intended to organize labor unions, civil rights organizations and other constituencies into a coalition that would transform the Democratic Party into a social democratic party. The realignment strategy emphasized working with unions and especially the AFL–CIO, putting an emphasis on economic issues that would unite working class voters. SDUSA opposed the New Politics of Senator McGovern, which had lost all states other than Massachusetts to Richard Nixon at the 1972 presidential election, when Americans voted for a Democratic House of Representatives in the House elections. While SDUSA had endorsed McGovern, it had adopted resolutions criticizing the New Politics for having made criticisms of labor unions and working class Americans and for its advocacy of an immediate and unconditional withdrawal from Vietnam.

SDUSA's organizational activities included sponsoring discussions and issuing position papers—it was known mainly because of its members' activities in other organizations. It included civil rights activists and leaders of labor unions, such as Bayard Rustin, Norman Hill and Tom Kahn of the AFL–CIO as well as Sandra Feldman and Rachelle Horowitz of the AFT. Tom Kahn organized the AFL–CIO's support of Solidarity, an independent labor union that challenged Communist Poland. Penn Kemble and Carl Gershman cooperated with Republican and Democratic administrations on democracy promotion, beginning with the Reagan administration. Other members included the philosopher Sidney Hook. SDUSA ceased operations in 2005 following the death of Penn Kemble. In 2008–2009, two small organizations emerged, each proclaiming itself to be the successor to SDUSA.

SDUSA's politics were criticized by former SPA Chairman Michael Harrington, who in 1972 announced that he favored an immediate pull-out of American forces from Vietnam (without requiring any guarantees). After losing all votes at the 1972 convention that changed the SPA to SDUSA, Harrington resigned in 1973 and formed his Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee (DSOC), which welcomed the New Politics and middle-class leadership. The 1972 changing of the name of the SPA to SDUSA and the 1973 formation of DSOC represented a split in the American socialist movement. Some SDUSA members have been called "right-wing social-democrats", a taunt according to Ben Wattenberg. These SDUSA members supported Solidarity, with Kahn working for AFL–CIO and later Gershman working for the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). Their support of Solidarity was criticized by the Carter administration, the Soviet Union and other supporters of détente. SDUSA members (like the AFL–CIO and at Solidarity's request) supported using economic aid to Poland's Communist government as a bargaining chip to help Solidarity while neoconservatives and "hard-line" conservatives opposed such aid in 1981. SDUSA leaders Penn Kemble and Bayard Rustin and former SDUSA member Joshua Muravchik were called "second-generation neoconservatives" by Justin Vaïsse. Along with Kahn, Horowitz and Gersham, these leaders are also regarded as Shachtmanites by most other scholars. SDUSA leader Penn Kemble rejected the neoconservative label and called himself a social democrat (even while dying in 2005). Joshua Muravchik disputed the Shachtmanite label for his generation and has called himself a neoconservative, much to the disappointment of his SDUSA associates who continue to identify with social democracy and to disagree with neoconservatism.

St. Andrew's Episcopal Church (Jacksonville)

The former St. Andrew's Episcopal Church building, also known as Old St. Andrew's, is an historic building located at 317 Florida Avenue (now 317 A. Philip Randolph Boulevard) in downtown Jacksonville, Florida. It was originally an Episcopal church, but closed when the parish relocated to the suburbs in 1960. On May 4, 1976, the edifice was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. In the 1990s it was purchased by the City of Jacksonville and turned over to the Jacksonville Historical Society (JHS), and now serves as the society's headquarters.

Youth March for Integrated Schools (1959)

Youth March for Integrated Schools was the second of two Youth Marches that rallied in Washington, D.C. The second march occurred on April 18, 1959 at the National Sylvan Theater and was attended by an estimated 26,000 individuals. The march was a follow-up to the first Youth March to demonstrate support for ongoing efforts to end racially segregated schools in the United States. Speeches were delivered by Martin Luther King Jr., A. Philip Randolph, Roy Wilkins, and Charles S. Zimmerman.

Civil rights movement (1950s and 1960s)

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