Asa Philip Randolph was a great civil rights activist, a trailblazing leader, and a profound organizer. He is one of the greatest personalities that fought for the labor rights of the African-American community in the 20th century. Born on April 15, 1889, in Crescent City, Florida, Randolph was the second child of Elizabeth and James Randolph. Both of his parents were sturdy supporters of general human rights and equal rights for African-Americans. When Randolph was just three years old, his whole family moved to the city of Jacksonville, in Florida, where he spent most of his childhood and youth and attended Cookman Institute, an institution solely dedicated to the higher education of Blacks in the country.
After graduation, Randolph moved to Harlem, New York with a dream to become an actor. During his stay, he studied Sociology and English Literature at the City College. He did some odd jobs to fulfill his needs and developed good rhetorical skills. In 1912, Randolph started his major political moves when a law student from Columbian University shared his views regarding social, political aspects to organize Black workers. While working as a waiter, Randolph organized a rally that was against the poor living conditions of Blacks in America.
Philip Randolph got married in 1913, and after that, he pursued an acting career by organizing a drama society in Harlem known as “Ye Friends of Shakespeare.” Later on, during World War I, Randolph and his friend got a chance to write in a magazine called The Messenger and began publishing articles that focused on the inclusion of Blacks in the war industry and armed forces. They demanded higher wages for the Black people and tried to unionize the African-American workers in different occupations.
Through 1927 to 1940, Randolph kept his hopes high and stayed busy with a lot of social work and dedicated his time to the Black community. He founded the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters that was solely working for the African-American Community whereas, in 1940, he organized mass protest twice to influence the so-called policies of the federal government. He never let his hopes down and always involved great personalities like Martin Luther King Jr. and President John F. Kennedy to deliver his proposal that focused on Blacks of America. He died of a bad heart condition on May 16, 1979, at the age of 90 and was cremated to meet the Lord of his soul.