A. Phillip Randolph was an African American civil rights leader who formed the first mostly African American labor organization. Unflinchingly fighting for the rights of African American laborers, he demanded equal rights, better working conditions, and higher wages. He was a significant role in the American labor movement and led the fight for black equality and justice. He co-founded an employment service for blacks with activist Chandler Owen to help them find meaningful work. Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, a mostly black labor union. He credited his parents for teaching him the value of education, equality, justice, and freedom. Inability to find meaningful occupations after school due to his color led him to take up the fight of social equality. He committed his life to achieving social justice and empowering African Americans to live with dignity. In 1963, he led the Jobs and Freedom March, which helped enact the Civil Rights Act (1964).
Early Childhood of A. Philip Randolph
He was the second son of James William Randolph and Elizabeth Robinson. His father, a tailor, was also an AME clergyman, and his mother a seamstress. He grew up in a vibrant black neighborhood in Florida.
His parents taught him to value equality and freedom. He attended the Cookman Institute with his brother and excelled in academics, sports, acting, and music. In 1907 he gradu
With a passion for both drama and music, he once wished to be an actor. After graduation, he had to perform odd jobs because finding meaningful work as a black man was difficult.
In 1911, he relocated to New York City and enrolled at City College to study English and sociology. He did manual labor during the day and studied at night.
He was an ardent reader who influenced by W. E. B. Du Bois’s book ‘The Souls of Black Folk’.
Afterlife of A. Philip Randolph
In 1912, he created the Brotherhood of Labor with Chandler Owen, a Columbia University law student, to organize black laborers.
In 1917, after the US entered WWI, he co-founded ‘The Messenger’ with Owen. Through this journal, he wanted more black military roles and more pay for blacks.
After the war, he taught at New York’s Rand School of Social Science. A union, he argued, was the greatest way for African-Americans to improve their situation.
In 1919, he was elected president of the National Brotherhood of Workers. It was formed by African American shipyard and dock workers in Virginia’s Tidewater region. The American Federation of Labor forced the union’s dissolution in 1921.
In 1925, he created and led the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. His work with the first mostly black labor union made him a leader in the American civil rights movement.
He co-led the MOWM with Bayard Rustin (1941–46). Despite the lack of a march, the movement persuaded President Franklin D. Roosevelt to end discrimination in the defense sector during WWII.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963.
Grandiose of A. Philip Randolph
In 1963, he spearheaded one of the largest political gatherings for human rights in US history, the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Thousands of Americans, mostly black, marched in support of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Honors & Awards
In 1942, he received the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal.
In September 1964, Lyndon B. Johnson awarded Randolph the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
American Humanist Association Humanist of the Year 1970.
Leap of Faith
He met Lucille Campbell Green, a widowed Howard University grad with a socialist leaning. They wed in 1913. His wife was a strong supporter of his socialist efforts and made enough money to sustain them both. They had no kids.
He died on May 16, 1979, aged 90.
His namesake A. Philip Randolph Career Academy in Philadelphia and A. Philip Randolph Career and Technician Center in Detroit.
Estimated Net Worth
A is a wealthy Civil Rights Leader and a well-known Civil Rights Leader. A Philip Randolph net worth is estimated at $1.5 Million by Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.