A. Phillip Randolph, labor and civil rights leader

A. Phillip
Mon, 1889-04-15

This date marks the birthday of A. Phillip Randolph in 1889. He was an African American labor and civil rights leader.

Born in Crescent City, Florida, Randolph worked as a section hand on a railroad during his youth. After graduating from high school, he moved to New York City and attended the College of the City of New York. During his student days, he organized a small union of elevator operators. Concerned over the treatment of Black employees on railroads, Randolph organized the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters in 1925.

It was the first union of predominantly Black workers to be granted a charter by the American Federation of Labor. After more than ten years of struggle, his union won recognition as bargaining agent with the Pullman Company. A longtime supporter of civil liberties, Randolph was instrumental in persuading President Franklin D. Roosevelt to set up the Fair Employment Practices Committee. In 1957 Randolph was elected a vice president of the AFL/CIO.

He was also one of the organizers of the 1963 March on Washington. A. Phillip Randolph died on May 16th, 1979 in New York City.

The Encyclopedia Britannica, Fifteenth Edition.
Copyright 1996 Encyclopedia Britannica Inc.
ISBN 0-85229-633-0

Person / name: 

Randolph, A. Phillip