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Asa Philip Randolph, Civil Rights Activist (1889-1979)

"Washington, D.C. Portrait of A. Philip Randolph, labor leader." (1942)

Born in Crescent City, Florida in 1889, Randolph was the son of a Reverend James William Randolph and seamstress, Elizabeth Robinson Randolph. A major inspiration for Randolph's activism in civil rights sprouted from W.E.B DuBois' The Souls of Black Folk . DuBois' work also convinced him to move to New York in 1911. There, Randolph and black socialist, Chandler Owen founded the magazine, The Messenger. In regards to World War I, the magazine opposed black participation. In 1940s, along with other civil rights and labor rights activists, Randolph was frustrated with federal govenernment's refusal to desegragate military and defense industries. The activists' energies led to Randolph calling for a march on Washington, D.C. in protest. Support for the march was immense and pushed Franklin D. Roosevelt to issue Executive Order 8022 weeks before the march. Executive Order 8022 banned discrimination in defense industries and created the Federal Employment Practice Committee.

The order did not mean Randolph was going to rest, in 1946 he created the Committee Against Jim Crow in Military Service, later called the League for Non-Violent Civil Disobedience. His efforts along with fellow civl rights activists urged the creation of Executive Order 9981, which desegregated the military. Randolph is most famously known for his work with Bayard Rustin on the organization for the march on Washington, D.C. in 1963.

This is a 1942 photograph of A. Philip Randolph, civil rights activist. From the Library of Congress.
Citation (Chicago Style): 


Adams, Luther. "Randolph, Asa Philip (1889-1979)". Rembered & Reclaimed. Accessed November 15, 2018.

"A. Philip Randolph". AFL-CIO. Accessed November 15,2018.

"Randolph, A. Philip". Stanford University: The Martin Luther King, Jr. Researh and Education Institute: King Encyclopedia. Accessed November 15,2018

Parks, Gordon. "Washington, D.C. Portrait of A. Philip Randolph, labor leader." Film negative. November, 1942. Library of Congress. (accessed August 3, 2018).

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