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Randolph, Philip (Asa)

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Born: 1889 AD
Died: 1979 AD, at 90 years of age.

Nationality: American
Categories: Activists

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1889 - Born on April 15th in Crescent City, Florida. Philip Randolph brought the gospel of trade unionism to millions of African American households.

1891 - The family moved to Jacksonville, which had a thriving, well-established African American community.

1907 - Asa excelled in literature, drama and public speaking; starred on the school's baseball team; sang solos with its choir; and was valedictorian of the graduating class.

1911 - He moved to New York City to become an actor but gave up after failing to win his parents' approval.

1914 - Randolph courted and married Mrs. Lucille E. Green, a widow, Howard University graduate and entrepreneur who shared his socialist politics and earned enough money to support them both.

1917 - Randolph and Owen dropped "Hotel" from the masthead and in November, published the first issue of the Messenger, which soon became known as "one of the most brilliantly edited magazines in the history of American Negro journalism".

1940 - With President Franklin Roosevelt refusing to issue an executive order banning discrimination against black workers in the defense industry, Randolph called for "10,000 loyal Negro American citizens" to march on Washington, D.C.

1947 - Randolph demanded that the government integrate the armed forces.

         - He founded the League for Nonviolent Civil Disobedience Against Military Segregation and urged young men, both black and white, to "refuse to cooperate with a Jim Crow conscription service".

1955 - Randolph was elected a vice president of the newly merged AFL-CIO. He used his position to push for desegregation and respect for civil rights inside the labor movement as well as outside.

1960 - He was one of the founders of the Negro American Labor Council and served as its president.

1963 - The movement recognized his role by naming him the chair of the March on Washington, at which Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous "I Have a Dream" speech, and by heeding his advice to cooperate in keeping the march nonviolent.

1964 - He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Lyndon Johnson.

1968 - Retiring as president of the BSCP, Randolph was named the president of the recently formed A. Philip Randolph Institute, established to promote trade unionism in the black community.

1974 - He continued to serve on the AFL-CIO Executive Council.

1979 - He died in New York City on May 16th.

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Page last updated: 11:12pm, 12th Jun '07