A. Philip Randolph (Dictionary of World Biography: Twentieth Century)
Article abstract: Having a passionate desire for economic justice and an unwavering advocacy for social and political equality among all persons, A. Philip Randolph improved significantly the status of Afro-American labor and greatly advanced the civil rights of minority people throughout the United States.
Asa Philip Randolph was born April 15, 1889, in Crescent City, Florida. His mother, Elizabeth, was from Baldwin, Florida, and the youngest of four daughters born to James and Mary Robinson. A devoted member of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) church, Elizabeth was an intelligent and proud woman who deeply resented bigotry and segregation. James Robinson, independent and resourceful, supported his family by running a small lumber business which supplied pine logs, crossties, pulpwood, and other materials for the railroads and papermills in northern Florida. Philip’s father, James William Randolph, was born in 1864, a descendant of slaves who worked for the Virginia planter, John Randolph. James acquired a rudimentary education from Northern missionaries who came South after the Civil War. He became an accomplished tailor and AME minister, serving several poor congregations in Jefferson County, Florida. Outraged by the failure of Reconstruction to secure full racial equality for black people, the itinerant preacher militantly fought to defend his community’s newly acquired political rights. James...
(The entire section is 3038 words.)
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