A. Philip Randolph: The Trumpet of Mobilization

  • A. Philip Randolph: The Trumpet of Mobilization

  • An Excerpt from β€œTHE BLACK EXPERIENCE IN AMERICA” Published electronically by its author, Norman Coombs,and Project Gutenberg.(C 1993) by Norman Coombs.

  • Narrator

    The leadership style of A. Philip Randolph differed from that of Washington, DuBois, and Garvey.

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  • His interest in providing jobs and skills for the working class was akin to that of Washington.

  • His aggressive outspoken manner was more like that of DuBois.

  • While lacking the flamboyant style of Garvey, he was able to work among the ranks of the working class and gain their acceptance.

  • He, too, has demonstrated considerable ability in mass organization.

  • Narrator

    Like DuBois, he wanted to use black solidarity as a wedge with which to break through discrimination into a biracial society and not as an end in itself.

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  • Asa Philip Randolph was born in Crescent City, Florida, in 1889.

  • He was raised in a strict religious home.

  • His father was a local minister but he also had to hold down another full-time job in order to support his family.

  • Early in the century, Randolph moved north and attended City College in New York.

  • During the First World War, Randolph, with Chandler Owen, edited The Messenger and made it into an outspoken vehicle for their own opinions.

  • Narrator

    In its pages, they espoused a radical, American brand of democratic socialism.

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  • They supported the International Workers of the World, which many viewed as being alien and communistic, and they questioned the advisability of Negroes supporting the war effort.

  • They were charged with undermining the national defense, and they spent some time in Jail.

  • Both advocated a working-class solidarity of blacks and whites which would resist exploitation by capitalism.

  • In their view, every non-union man, black or white, was a potential scab and a potential threat to every union man, black or white.

  • While the white and black dogs were fighting over the bone, they pointed out, the yellow capitalist dog ran off with it.

  • Narrator

    The Messenger encouraged blacks to join unions, and it tried hard to persuade the unions to eliminate discrimination.

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