Apr. 15, 2019


On this day in 1889, 130 years ago, one of the stalwart dynamic leaders of the black community was born, Asa Phillip Randolph. Mr. Randolph was one of the greatest labor organizers in the history of the United States. Where would our black communities be had it been not for Asa Phillip Randolph, who founded the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters? Not only for the enormous economic benefit derived by the members of the sleeping car porters union but also for the civil rights benefits secured for the black community during the civil rights struggle. Yes, without a doubt the impact of the Brotherhood of the Sleeping Car Porters was so significant. Can you imagine how the Montgomery Bus Boycott would've suffered had not the local leadership of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters not actively involved themselves under the leadership of E.D. Nixon? Can you also imagine how ill-informed the black southern populace would have remained had not those same black sleeping car porters not delivered the Chicago Defender, Baltimore Afro-American, and the Pittsburgh Courier to southern states by way of the railways? Asa Phillip Randolph demanded that black Americans being able to be employed in defense plans during World War Two.

As a matter of fact 22 years before the historic March for Jobs and Freedom on the Mall in Washington on August 28, 1963. Mr. Asa Phillip Randolph stood up for economic justice for black Americans by standing down President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and United States Congress segregationist's policies related to hiring black Americans to work in defense plants. Asa Phillip Randolph demanded that black Americans be hired to work in meaningful positions of employment in those defense plans funded with federal tax dollars. It was Mr. Randolph's idea to create a mass demonstration on the Mall in Washington DC in May 1941. If the hiring or I should say the lack of hiring of black Americans continued. So as a result of that proposed direct action proposed by Mr. Randolph, President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 8802 which opened employment opportunities for black Americans to work in those military industrial plants as well as jobs in other federal agencies without the use of discriminatory practices that had previously denied them the right of employment.

Of course, Mr. Asa Phillip Randolph was actively involved in every facet of activity in the planning of the 1963 March for Jobs and Freedom. He also worked closely with other organization planning direct action in fighting the fight for Civil Rights. Asa Phillip Randolph was an American Hero whose chief aim was to ensure that every black American had the right to the pursuit of happiness as well as the rights protected by the US Constitution. So on this day 130 years after his birth, The Blackman Who Reads Aloud asks each and every member of the black community to thank God for the service, devotion, will, and determination that embodied Asa Philip Randolph.