A. Philip Randolph

po_Randolph-PhilipAsa Philip Randolph (April 15, 1889 – May 16, 1979) was a leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement, the American labor movement, and socialist political parties.

He organized and led the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, the first predominantly African American labor union. In the early Civil Rights Movement, Randolph led the March on Washington Movement, which convinced President Franklin D. Roosevelt to issue Executive Order 8802 in 1941, banning discrimination in the defense industries during World War II. The group then successfully pressured President Harry S. Truman to issue Executive Order 9981 in 1948, ending segregation in the armed services.

In 1963, Randolph was the head of the March on Washington, which was organized by Bayard Rustin, at which Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his “I Have A Dream” speech. Randolph inspired the Freedom budget, sometimes called the “Randolph Freedom budget”, which aimed to deal with the economic problems facing the black community.