Lucille Campbell was one of the first women to graduate from Lelia Beauty College, which was founded by Madame C.J. Walker in 1913. After graduating, she opened her own salon in New York attracting an elite clientele. Her business venture helped her husband, A. Philip Randolph, immensely with his activist projects.
Campbell was born on April 15, 1883, in Christiansburg, Virginia. She was the second of three children of William and Josephine Campbell. Campbell met A. Philip Randolph when she was thirty-one, and he was twenty-five. The couple bonded over their love for Shakespeare and participated in a small amateur performance group called Ye Friends of Shakespeare in Harlem. The couple married in November 1914 at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, a compromise that the couple had to make because Randolph didn’t want a church wedding, but Green insisted that it would preserve her reputation in social circles.
Green was a member of the American Labor party and ran for a seat on the New York City Board of Aldermen on the Socialist party ticket. She funded and distributed her husband’s Socialist newspaper, The Messenger, at her salon.
Asa Philip Randolph had warmly acknowledged the debt he owed to his wife for having financially and emotionally supported him when his political career was starting. “We were…on an uncharted sea…But I had a good wife. She carried us.”
Lucille Campbell Green (Randolph) died on April 12, 1963, four months before her husband’s march on Washington, which was considered his most significant achievement.
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