A. Philip Randolph and the African American Labor Movement
Asa Philip Randolph learned at a young age the feeling of triumph and the danger that comes with standing up against injustice. His parents always encouraged him and his brother to resist the racism they encountered growing up in Jacksonville, Florida, in the early 1900s. When Randolph moved north to pursue an acting career, he rejoiced in the welcoming environment the Harlem Renaissance had created in New York City. There he took college classes, joined organizations, and met people who shared his conviction that discrimination was wrong. Randolph eventually abandoned a career on the stage for a life spent fighting racism. He led the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, the first all-black union, in a long but finally victorious fight against the discriminatory practices of the Pullman Car Company. He became a tireless voice for labor and was the driving force for integrating unions across the country. Affectionately called "The Chief" for his stalwart leadership, Randolph negotiated with presidents and won many victories, including the desegregation of the armed forces.
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