He organized and led the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, the first predominantly African American labor union. In the early civil-rights movement, Randolph led the March on Washington Movement, which convinced President Franklin D. Roosevelt to issueExecutive Order 8802 in 1941, banning discrimination in the defense industries duringWorld War II. The group then successfully pressured President Harry S. Truman to issueExecutive Order 9981 in 1948, ending segregation in the armed services.
In 1963, Randolph was the head of the March on Washington, which was organized by Bayard Rustin, at which Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his “I Have A Dream” speech. Randolph inspired the Freedom budget, sometimes called the “Randolph Freedom budget”, which aimed to deal with the economic problems facing the black community.
Randolph had a significant impact on the Civil Rights Movement from the 1930s onward. TheMontgomery Bus Boycott in Alabama was directed by E.D. Nixon, who had been a member of the BSCP and was influenced by Randolph’s methods of non-violent confrontation.Nationwide, the Civil Rights Movement in the 1950s and 1960s used tactics pioneered by Randolph, such as encouraging African-Americans to vote as a bloc, mass voter registration, and training activists for non-violent direct action.
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