By Sandy Southivilay
Every year the United States observes February as Black History Month, in remembrance of important events that took place and leaders that took a stand to protect the rights of African Americans and their working families.
A. Philip Randolph was an important African American labor leader who worked hard to fight for African American’s civil rights and labor rights. Randolph began his activist career earlier on when he founded the Messenger, a political magazine that featured articles by rising black writers.
In 1925, Randolph organized the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (BSCP), the first African American labor organization to earn a charter in the American Federation of Labor (AFL). Under the leadership of Randolph, the BSCP was able to win a collective bargaining agreement with the Pullman Company.
Randolph went on to organize the March on Washington, where more than 200,000 stood together. Randolph’s success in organizing Americans to stand in solidarity at a time when segregation divided the country is a powerful statement and one we remember today.
Watch this video to learn more about Randolph’s accomplishments in labor.
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