A. Phillip Randolph in D.C.
Asa Phillip Randolph was a black labor leader and civil rights leader from the 1920s until the 1960s.

He was an early labor organizer of elevator operators in New York City and dockworkers in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia.

Randolph was elected president of the newly formed Brotherhood of Sleep Car Porters, AFL in 1925.

He later served as president of the National Negro Congress from 1936-40.

He organized the March on Washington Movement in 1941 that pressured President Franklin Roosevelt to issue an executive order prohibiting discrimination in the armed services (although it was limited) and within the defense industry. He later organized a movement where black Americans would refuse service in the military until it desegregated and ended discrimination.

In the early 1950s, Randolph organized the Leadership Conference for Civil Rights, an umbrella group for civil rights organizations, that played a role in working out policy and program among the different civil rights leaders.

In 1955, Randolph became the first black vice president of the newly merged American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO).

Along with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., he organized the 1957 Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom—a mass gathering in Washington, D.C. designed to spur federal enforcement of the 1954 Supreme Court decision outlawing segregated public schools.

He followed that up by being a key organizer of the 1958-59 youth marches on Washington that had the same goals.

These marches provided the organization and tactical experience for pulling together that massive 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, of which Randolph was one of the principal organizers.

Soon after, he founded the A. Philip Randolph Institute, an organization aimed at studying the causes of poverty and co-founded by Randolph's mentee Bayard Rustin.

He retired from public life in 1968 and died in 1979.
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