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A. Philip Randolph, Civil Rights and Labor Leader, Papers

Collection Number: A&M 1530


Papers of Asa Philip Randolph, a prominent civil rights and labor leader, who founded and edited The Messenger, an influential black radical labor newspaper of the 1920s and who organized and presided over the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, the only independent, viable black trade union in the American labor movement. Much of the correspondence deals with raising subscriptions for The Messenger, gaining an International Charter as an independent affiliate to the American Federation of Labor and the early organizing strike actions against the Pullman Company. This correspondence emphasizes the difficulties of convincing black workers of the feasibility of an independent fledgling black trade union; the necessity of organizing black workers for the benefit of the whole labor movement; and the challenge of maintaining jurisdictional independence from competing trade unions with predominantly white membership, such as the Hotel Workers union. These letters also reflect Randolph's desire to attain full civil rights for blacks.


  • Creation: 1919-1937


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Conditions Governing Access

No special access restriction applies.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. For more information, please see the Permissions and Copyright page on the West Virginia and Regional History Center website.


0 Linear Feet (Summary: 45 pages)

Physical Location

West Virginia and Regional History Center / West Virginia University / 1549 University Avenue / P.O. Box 6069 / Morgantown, WV 26506-6069 / Phone: 304-293-3536 / Fax: 304-293-3981 / URL:

A. Philip Randolph, Civil Rights and Labor Leader, Papers, 1919-37
Staff of the West Virginia & Regional History Center
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Repository Details

Part of the West Virginia and Regional History Center Repository

1549 University Ave.
P.O. Box 6069
Morgantown WV 26506-6069 US