philip randolph

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Anna Pauline “Pauli” Murray (November 20, 1910 – July 1, 1985) was a civil rights activist, women’s rights activist, lawyer, and author. She was also the first black woman ordained an Episcopal priest. Born in Baltimore, she later moved to New York and obtained a degree in English in 1933. In 1940 she was arrested for violating Virginia’s segregation laws on a bus. This incident, along with her involvement in the socialist Workers Defense League to free a Black sharecropper from execution for killing his white landlord, led her to become a civil rights lawyer. She enrolled at Howard University’s law school where she, along with James Farmer and Bayard Rustin co-founded C.O.R.E. (Congress for Racial Equality) in 1942. 

While at Howard, she became conscious of sexism, or “Jane Crow” as she called it. As one of the few women law students there, she found herself the object not of hostility but of ridicule. On her first day of classes she was shocked to hear her professor announce that he didn’t know why women went to law school, but that since they were there, he guessed the men would have to put up with them. She responded with steely silence. “The professor didn’t know it,” she later wrote, “but he had just guaranteed that I would be the top student in his class.” 

After passing the California bar exam in 1945, Murray became the state’s first black deputy attorney general. It would be Murray’s 1950 book States’ Laws on Race and Color that NAACP lawyer Thurgood Marshall would hail as the “bible” of the civil rights movement, directly contributing to the 1954 Brown vs. Board decision. Respect for her mind did not improve her treatment by men in the movement however. In 1963, she became one of the first to criticize the sexism of the civil rights movement. In a letter to civil rights leader A. Philip Randolph, among other grievances, she criticized the fact in the 1963 March on Washington no women were invited to make one of the major speeches or to be part of its delegation of leaders who went to the White House:

I have been increasingly perturbed over the blatant disparity between the major role which Negro women have played and are playing in the crucial grassroots levels of our struggle and the minor role of leadership they have been assigned in the national policy-making decisions. It is indefensible to call a national march on Washington and send out a call which contains the name of not a single woman leader.[x]

Murray lived in Ghana from 1960–61, serving on the faculty of the Ghana School of Law. She then returned to the US and studied at Yale Law School, becoming the first African-American to receive a J.S.D. from the school in 1965. Murray co-wrote the critical position papers on the E.R.A., Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and the American Civil Liberties Union brief for the White v. Crook case, which successfully challenged all-white, all-male juries in Lowndes County, Alabama. In 1966 she was one of the founding members of NOW (National Organization for Women), but resigned when the white women of the organization failed to incorporate analysis of racial oppression into their activism.

[I’ve begun to] reassess my entire relationship to the women’s movement and to ponder how I can remain effective without exposing myself to humiliation, for it is humiliating to be deliberately excluded from participation in an area to which one has devoted many years of one’s life.[x]

In 1973, Murray left law and academia for the Episcopal Church, becoming a priest, and was the first Black woman named an Episcopal saint in 2012.

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Legacy Of Pullman Car Porters

Pullman Porters union and the Civil Rights Movement-½

Pullman Porters union and the Civil Rights Movement-2/2

Pullman Porters Ride Again

Pullman Porters: From Service to Civil Rights at the National Railroad Museum

Today Black History August 25th 1925

Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters organized at a mass meeting in Elks Hall in Harlem. A Philip Randolph was elected president. The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters would become one of the most successful union organizing efforts in history. The union gave voice to the many railroad porters and attendants who were forced to work long hourse for relatively meager wages and benefits. By 1959, the union claimed more than 15,000 members. Its long-time president was A. Philip Randolph, who would go on to be a great civil rights leader. The message: “This organization is not here because somebody loved it; it is here because it pushed everybody out of its way.”
On This Day: June 18
  • 1873: Anarcho-syndicalist Marie Capderoque, aka Marion Bachmann, born in Lyon, France. She was a member of the anarcho-syndicalist group Dames Réunies.
  • 1882: Georgi Dimitrov was born in Kovachevtsi, Bulgaria. He was the first communist leader of Bulgaria, from 1946 to 1949. Dimitrov led the Communist International from 1934 to 1943.
  • 1891: Emma Goldman addresses a mass meeting to protest the second imprisonment of Johann Most at Blackwell’s Island after the Supreme Court rejects the appeal of his 1887 conviction for illegal assembly and incitement to riot following the Haymarket executions.
  • 1921: Anarchist José Martínez Guerricabeitia, aka Felipe de Orero, born in Villar del Arzobispo, Spain. He was a member of the Federación Ibérica de Juventudes Libertarias (FIJL) during the Spanish Civil War.
  • 1923: A nationwide General Strike, protesting the assassination of the anarchist Kurt Wilckens in his prison cell, paralyzes Argentina.
  • 1935: Battle of Ballantyne Pier: Over a thousand striking Vancouver waterfront workers are attacked by armed police.
  • 1941: Union & civil rights leader A Philip Randolph meets with President Roosevelt about the July 1 march over discrimination in war industries.
  • 1946: Socialist Ram Manohar Lohia calls for Direct Action Day against the Portuguese in Goa.
  • 1950: In Chile the central anarchist syndicalist National Unitarian Movement of Workers (MUNT) is created.
  • 1965: Last issue, #110 of Free Association is published. It was the publication of the Japanese Anarchist Federation (JAF).
  • 1971: The Washington Post publishes excerpts from the Pentagon Papers, halted by court order the following day.
  • 1984: Battle of Orgreave: During the UK Miner’s Strike, police attack 5,000 strikers on the pickets at a British Steel Corporation (BSC) coking plant in Orgreave, South Yorkshire. It was one of the most violent clashes in British industrial history.
  • 1999: Carnival against Capitalism worldwide, including London, England / Eugene, US / Cologne, Germany, J18 or Global Action Day protests.
  • 2010: G-20 Toronto summit protests begins.
On This Day: May 8
  • 1450: Jack Cade’s Rebellion begins. Kentishmen revolt against King Henry VI, eventually capturing and looting London.
  • 1753: Birth of Mexican priest and revolutionary Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, who was executed in July 1811 for leading an uprising.
  • 1911: The anarchist Mexican Liberal Party captured Tijuana.
  • 1912: George Woodcock was born in Winnipeg. He was a writer of political biography and history, an anarchist thinker, an essayist and literary critic.
  • 1916: Ben Reitman was sentenced to 60 days in jail for advocating birth control.
  • 1916: Foundation of American Federation of Teachers in United States.
  • 1916: Éamonn Ceannt executed for his role in the Irish Easter Uprising.
  • 1919: Vera Zasulich, Menshevik writer and revolutionary, dies in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
  • 1925: A Philip Randolph and Milton P Webster found Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. First black led union to become part of AFL.
  • 1926: During the British General Strike, Police make baton-charges on strikers in Glasgow, Hull, Middlesbrough, Newcastle and Preston.
  • 1926: Rail union secretary JH Thomas begins secret talks with the mine owners, beginning process of selling out the General Strike.
  • 1930: Gary Snyder was born in San Francisco. Perhaps best known as a poet, he is also an essayist, lecturer, and environmental activist.
  • 1933: Gandhi begins a 3 week hunger strike over mistreatment of lower castes.
  • 1937: In Barcelona, police find the horribly mutilated bodies of 12 murdered young men. Eight of the bodies are so mutilated that they cannot be identified. The four identified bodies belong to young anarchists, illegally arrested together with eight friends on May 4 outside the Communist militia barracks in Barcelona, when they were passing by on a truck with “CNT” written on it. The names of the identified young men are: Cesar Fernández Neri, Jose Villena, Juan Antonio, and Luis Carneras. Police also found the dead bodies of the Italian anarchist professor Berneri and two of his friends, who were arrested during the May incidents by Communist militias.
  • 1940: While in Toronto, Emma Goldman has a stroke.
  • 1945: Sétif massacre: At a demo by Muslim Algerian population, police attack pro-independence protesters.
  • 1945: German anarcho-syndicalist Fritz Kater was injured by a dud bazooka shell.
  • 1945: End of the Prague Uprising, an insurrection against the Nazi occupation.
  • 1962: Nine million Belgians participate in a 10 minute work stoppage protesting nuclear weapons.
  • 1963: South Vietnamese soldiers open fire on Buddhists defying a ban on the flying of the Buddhist flag. Nine are killed.
  • 1969: City College of New York closes following a 14-day-long student takeover demanding minority studies; riots among students break out when CCNY tries to reopen.
  • 1970: Hard Hat Riot: Construction workers confront anti-war demonstrators, Wall St., New York City.
  • 1971: Nguyen Thi Co immolates herself protesting Vietnam War.
  • 1973: Members of the American Indian Movement who had held South Dakota hamlet of Wounded Knee surrender to federal agents after a 10 week siege.
  • 1991: 1,400 United Steelworkers of America end 10 month strike at Brunswick Mining and Smelting, winning health and safety assurances.

On April 15, 1889, A. Philip Randolph, founder of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters – the first successful Black trade union in the U.S. – and a leader in the African-American civil-rights movement, was born.

Via Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung - New York Office

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August 28th 1963: March on Washington

On this day in 1963, the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom took place. The march was a key moment of the Civil Rights Movement, and a triumph for the nonviolence philosophy which underpinned the movement. The march is best remembered for Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, given in front of the Lincoln Memorial, which extolled King’s vision of an America free of racial discrimination. Other speakers included chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee John Lewis and veteran civil rights leader A. Philip Randolph. When politicians in Washington heard about the march many, including President John F. Kennedy, feared that there would be violence and rioting. The peaceful gathering of over 250,000 supporters of civil rights, with many whites in attendance as well as African-Americans, highlighted issues of racial discrimination and unequal housing and employment. The demonstration in the nation’s capital, and King’s speech in particular, spurred America into action and paved the way for the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act and 1965 Voting Rights Act, vital tools in the fight for racial equality.

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed. ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal’…
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

On This Day: May 16
  • 1717: Voltaire imprisoned in the Bastille for writing subversive satire.
  • 1792: Denmark becomes first country to outlaw the slave trade.
  • 1838: Grimké Riot in Philadelphia. Abolitionist and feminist Angelina Grimké addressed a crowd at Pennsylvania Hall, in Philadelphia, her last public speech. While she spoke, thousands gathered to protest, and attacked the hall.
  • 1871: Paris Commune: The Vendôme Column, a symbol of militarism, is pulled down.
  • 1887: Maria Lacerda de Moura was born in Manhuaçu, Minas Gerais, Brazil. She was an anarcha-feminist, individualist anarchist, teacher, journalist, and writer.
  • 1898: Start of fourteen-week long Woodworkers Strike in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
  • 1901: French anarchist Gustave Lefrançais died.
  • 1904: The United States Supreme Court upheld the deportation of British anarchist John Turner for violation of the Anarchist Exclusion Act.
  • 1909: Mexican anarchist Ricardo Flores Magón was imprisoned for 18 months.
  • 1915: New York City’s Modern School moved to Stelton, New Jersey.
  • 1918: US Congress passes Sedition Act to forbid negative speaking of US govt/military. Unionists, anarchists and communists arrested.
  • 1926: Several hours after Sacco and Vanzetti’s death sentence was announced, anarchist Severino Di Giovanni bombed the U.S. embassy in Buenos Aires, destroying the front of the building.
  • 1933: Individualist anarchist John Henry Mackay died of a heart attack.
  • 1934: Minneapolis General Strike begins, following Teamsters’ strike against trucking companies in the city.
  • 1938: US Supreme Court issues Mackay decision allowing employers to “permanently replace” – fire – striking workers.
  • 1943: Warsaw Ghetto resistance finally crushed by Nazis. Over 56,000 died in the fighting.
  • 1944: An uprising by Sinti and Roma in Auschwitz-Birkenau camp led SS to temporarily interrupt the gassing of Sinti and Roma.
  • 1968: In France, workers had occupied roughly fifty factories. Over 200,000 are on strike at this point.
  • 1979: Death of A Philip Randolph in New York City. He was president and founder of Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. First black-led union recognised by the AFL
  • 1981: Irish Republican Francis Hughes dies after 59 days on hunger strike, fighting for recognition as political prisoners.
  • 1998: Tens of thousands form human chain with Jubilee 2000 around G7 summit meeting in Birmingham, UK demanding debt relief for Third World.
  • 2003: Iraqi Federation of Trade Unions formed.
  • 2012: Quebec Student Strike: Protesters, many covering their faces with masks, storm into a university and move through hallways in pursuit of classes to disrupt.
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WHY DON’T WE HEAR MORE ABOUT A. PHILIP RANDOLPH?

  • He was once called the most dangerous Black man in America
  • He was the father of the Civil Rights movement’s 1950s phase and the brainchild, in tandem with Bayard Rustin,* behind the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom
  • He joined the Socialist Party
  • He spoke and organized on behalf of dispossessed workers who were Black, Indian, Mexican American, Puerto Rican, and poor white
  • He forced the Pullman Company to bargain with the Black Pullman Porters
  • He was arrested for speaking out against WWI
  • He won an Executive Order in 1948 from President Harry Truman banning discrimination in the U. S. armed forces and federal employment
  • He organized the 1957 prayer pilgrimage for the Civil Rights bill
  • He inspired the 1958 and 1959 marches for school integration
  • His unremitting organizational pressure forced President Franklin D. Roosevelt to sing an Executive Order calling for fair employment practices in war industries
  • He helped organize a Shakespearean Society in Harlem and played the roles of Hamlet, Othello, and Romeo
  • He is Asa Philip Randolph, president of the institute bearing his name and President Emeritus of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, the union he built

*shout out to amanderppp for the fact-check

Happy Black History YEAR!

You Are Never Really Free

How would you define freedom? Is is being able to control your own life? Is it knowing that only you can make decisions for yourself, to act any way that you see fit? This sounds so appealing to us. When you are young, you feel oppressed by your parents and just want to be free from their control. When you get older, you feel stuck at your job and just can’t wait to have enough money to be free from the grind of the workforce. We crave freedom and independence from the people above us.

But lately I have noticed that it is not people that we are slaves to, but desires. We just want to feel good so we do the drug or drink the booze. We just want to feel loved so we go places in the bedroom we shouldn’t go. We just want happy, so we tell the lie to make us look good or take the thing that isn’t ours. We think if we can just feel good enough, be loved enough, make ourselves happy enough, then we will be free. But are we? 

I struggle, more so when I was younger, but I still do today. I would say thing that wasn’t true to get me out of a predicament. I was slave to the lie. I would sleep with the girl who I wasn’t married to in order to make myself feel strong. I was a slave to lust. I would horde money, or even worse, steal money, in order to buy (quite literally) something would bring me joy. But it never lasted. I was a slave to money. What are you slave to? What is holding you back from joy?

Civil rights and labor union leader A. Philip Randolph once said, “Freedom is never given; it is won.” I can simply “get” freedom. No amount of good grades, relationships, or money will ever give you that liberty you crave. But the good news is that it has been won. In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus quotes the prophet Isaiah. It is the moment when Jesus begins His ministry and reveals what He is going to do:

Luke 4:18 - “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,

Jesus came to bring freedom. It doesn’t come in the form of the Lord blessing you with money or a big family or a hot wife. It doesn’t come from how successful you are at work or how many cars are in your driveway. It comes from the work of Jesus. For when He died on the cross, He paid every debt to sin that we owe. 

John 8:36 - So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

We are free. But let me warn you that this freedom might be hard to grasp. It is not a freedom that let’s us do whatever we want. The late Pope John Paul II said it this way, “Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought.” Well, what ought we do? We ought to keep God’s commands! We don’t have to be a slave to money or possessions because we know that our hope is with Christ in Heaven. Now I can use my money to help the poor, widow, and orphan. We don’t have to be a slave to sex, work, or drugs, because our identity is not found in those things. It is found as a redeemed Child of God! Sin has no hold over over us. We are free to live in Christ!

Galatians 5:13-14 - You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh ; rather, serve one another humbly in love. For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

We don’t live in the flesh, but in the spirit, and 2 Corinthians 3:17 says that where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. You are never really “free” at least not according to the world’s definition of freedom. It is this idea that we can be our own gods, but that’s not how we were created. We were made to dwell in His presence. I don’t know about you, but a lot of the times my choices, especially when driven by my desires, don’t lead to good places. But His ways are higher than mine. When I have freedom to choose based on what God wants and commands, my desires become fulfilled. 

1 Peter 2:16 -  Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves.

We are God’s slaves, but let me tell you, there is no better slave master, for God, who is good and gracious, meets our every need. The poor, the hungry, the lonely, the weak, can all have hope because of what Christ has done. There slave master is not the world, but the Lord, and because of Jesus’ work on the cross, because of the mercy of our Father in Heaven, a slave to God has freedom.

You will never really be free in this life if you live by the world’s standards. But do not be a slave to the world. Be a slave to every command of God, for in His will, there is freedom.

Activists

definitely Aquarius, since they seek to change the world, make it a better place (progress, world peace!). Also Aries (the pioneer sign) and Scorpio (representing change and transformation), as their will to stand up for what they believe in is enormous. Gemini (the messenger), Libra (the lawyer), & Sagittarius (the philosopher) have so much convincing power, they have a flair with words like no other. Pisces definitely wants to end the world’s suffering, though escaping reality is also escaping these problems, sometimes.

Great activists under these signs: Rosa Parks (Aquarius), Yoko Ono (Aquarius), Alice Walker (Aquarius), John Lennon (Libra), Brigitte Bardot (Libra), Gloria Steinem (Aries), A. Philip Randolph (Aries), Nina Simone (Pisces), Melanie Sloan (Sagittarius), Betty Williams (Gemini), Angelina Jolie (Gemini), Dorothy Day (Scorpio), Margaret Atwood (Scorpio).

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Democratic Socialism Has Deep Roots in American Life
If the political pundits would look around, they would even discover a significant number of prominent U.S. democratic socialists at work in a variety of fields. These and many other democratic socialists, among them Bernie Sanders, have played an important role in American life.

How else could they miss the existence of a thriving Socialist Party, led by Eugene Debs (one of the nation’s most famous union leaders) and Norman Thomas (a distinguished Presbyterian minister), during the early decades of the twentieth century? Or the democratic socialist administrations elected to govern Milwaukee, Bridgeport, Flint, Minneapolis, Schenectady, Racine, Davenport, Butte, Pasadena, and numerous other U.S. cities? Or the democratic socialists, such as Victor Berger, Meyer London, and Ron Dellums, elected to Congress? Or the programs long championed by democratic socialists that, eventually, were put into place by Republican and Democratic administrations–from the Pure Food and Drug Act to the income tax, from minimum wage laws to maximum hour laws, from unemployment insurance to public power, from Social Security to Medicare?

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