A. Philip Randolph Summary

  • Last updated on November 10, 2022

As a leader in incorporating African Americans into the trade union movement and working to end discrimination in employment and segregation in the military, Randolph made major contributions toward integrating African Americans into the mainstream of the American economy.

A. Philip Randolph was the son of James William Randolph, an AME minister, and Elizabeth Robinson Randolph. He graduated as valedictorian of his class from Cookman Institute in 1907. In 1911, he moved to New York City, where he worked as an elevator operator, a porter, and a waiter. He also joined the Socialist Party and later became editor of the Messenger, the monthly publication of the Headwaiters and Sidewaiters Society of Greater New York.Randolph, A. Philip

In 1925, Randolph agreed to become the Unions;leadershipleader of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car PortersBrotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (BSCP). For the next ten years, he led a campaign to organize the Pullman Car porters. In 1935, the BSCP became the exclusive bargaining agent of the Pullman porters, and in 1937, the Pullman Palace Car Company agreed to a contract with the BSCP, which was affiliated with the American Federation of Labor.

Randolph continued his efforts to end discrimination throughout his life. In 1941, he proposed a march on Washington after President Franklin D. Roosevelt refused to issue an executive order barring Discrimination;workplacediscrimination against African American workers in the defense industry. Roosevelt then issued the order. In 1947, Randolph called for the integration of the U.S. armed forces. A year later, President Harry S. Truman issued an executive order ending segregation in the military. In 1955, Randolph became a vice president of the AFL-CIO. He also served as founder and president of the Negro American Labor Council, president of the A. Philip Randolph Institute, and chair of the 1963 civil rights March on Washington. In 1964, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Lyndon B. Johnson in recognition of his accomplishments.

Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters

Eugene V. Debs

Labor history

Labor strikes

Pullman Strike

World War II

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