A. Philip Randolph was a labor leader and social activist who fought for the rights of African-American laborers, including better wages and working conditions. During World War II(1939–45), A. Philip Randolph fought racial discrimination in war industries and the armed services. His efforts built a foundation for the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. A. Philip Randolph was one of the most influential black American leaders of the twentieth century. Randolph aimed to obtain government sponsorship of black jobs. Randolph’s understanding of the economic needs of blacks predated the riots that drew the nation’s attention to them. He also became a critic of the black power movement, which he believed was programmatically bankrupt.
In 1941, Randolph planned to organize some 100,000 African-Americans to march in Washington, D.C. "for jobs in national defense and equal integration in the fighting forces." Ultimately, he cancelled the march when President Franklin Roosevelt agreed to end discrimination in war employment.
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