Asa Philip Randolph
By Rachel Cheng
Asa P. Randolph was born on April 15, 1889 in Crescent City, Florida but moved to Jacksonville, Florida two years later. He was born to James William and Elizabeth (Robinson) Randolph. His sibling includes his older brother William. His father was the minister of A.M.E. Church.
He read Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx while other children his age were still reading Alice in Wonderland. As a child he had thought of a career with power like a congressman or lawyer so he can fight for the rights of blacks and others who are treated differently. He graduated out of Cookman Institute as class valedictorian and
was also on the baseball team, sang in choir, excelled in literature, drama, and public speaking. He’d worked odd jobs (elevator operator, porter, and waiter) while going to City College of New York after moving there in 1911. It was there when he met Chandler Owen who attended Columbia
University as a law student. This was the beginning of The Messenger.
The Messenger was a radical Harlem magazine. It also gave blacks the opportunities for being in the military. It also went against lynching. In it were arguments of the US joining World War I or not and advising blacks to arm themselves in case a mob of white came and attacked them.
“Salvation for a race, nation or class must come from within. Freedom is never granted; it is won. Justice is never given; it is exacted and the struggle must be continuous for freedom is never a final fact, but a continuing evolving process to higher and higher levels of human, social, economic, political and religious relationship.“
-A. Philip Randolph
The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, otherwise known as BSCP, was found in 1925. It then worked with Pullman Company after twelve years of hard work.
Members of BSCP
The March on Washington was organized by Asa P. Randolph, John Lewis, Martin Luther King Jr., Roy Wilkins from NAACP, and James Farmer from CORE’S. It was organized because Randolph believed in equality for blacks and Washington still believed in segregation. The march
was for jobs and freedoms. It was set off in 1941 because but eventually happened in 1963 where 250,000 people marched in Washington and this is where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have A Dream” speech.
Marchers walking in Washington D.C.
Randolph had responded in The New York Review of Books “You take ten thousand dollars from a white man; you have his ten thousand dollars, but he’s got your movement. You take ten cents from a Negro; you get his ten cents, and you also have the Negro.”
*April 15, 1889- Asa P. Randolph was born in Crescent City, Florida.
*1891- Moved to Jacksonville, Florida.
*1911- Moved to New York hoping to become an actor.
*1914- Married widow Lucille Green.
*1917- Started The Messenger.
*1921- Lost running for New York Secretary of State.
*August 1925- Founded the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters.
*1940s-50s- Famous for being an African-American rights spokesperson.
*1947- Spoke with President Truman about African-American civil rights.
*1963- March on Washington.
*1964- Civil Rights Act of 1964 signed.
*1968- Health began to weaken.
*May 16, 1979- Lived to 90 years of age in New York, New York.
Asa Philip Randolph
*1941- Honorary LL.D., Howard University
*1942- Spingarn Medal, NAACP
*1964- Presidential Medal of Freedom
*1973- Civil Rights Award, American Federation of Teachers
-Isaacs, Alan. Webster’s Family Encyclopedia. 13 vols. New York: 1993.
Limited information on his accomplishments and what he was famous for.
-Jessica McElrath. Asa P. Randolph- Profile of Labor & Civil Rights Leader A. Philip Randolph. <http://afroamhistory.about.com/cs/aphiliprandolph/p/aphiliprandolph.htm>
It gave brief but specific information about his whole life and work. No information on marriage.
-A. Philip Randolph: Biography from Answers.com. <http://www.answers.com/topic/a-philip-randolph> 28 Apr. 2009
More useful if you’re looking for quotes he’d said.
-Dominique Butler. A. Philip Randolph. <http://www.phila.k12.pa.us/schools/randolph.html> 1 May 2009
This site had good information on his later years of life.
-A. Philip Randolph Bio. <http://www.apri.org./ht/d/sp/i/225/pid/225> 1 May 2009
Brief notes at the beginning and what I needed which were not on other sites.
-Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brotherhood_of_Sleeping_Car_Porters> 1 May 2009
Helpful and gave specific details and info.
-Jessica McElrath. The March on Washington, 1963. <http://afroamhistory.about.com/od/marchonwashington/a/marchonwash1963.thm> 1 May 2009
It gave me the details that I needed for what the march was about.