A Philip Randolph

1711 Words May 1st, 2016 7 Pages
A. Philip Randolph
Daneka Ruiz

Born on April 15, 1889 in Crescent City, Florida, Reverend James W. and Elizabeth Randolph gave birth to their second son, Asa Philip Randolph. James worked as a tailor and minister, while Elizabeth worked as a seamstress. Both of his parents were supporters of equality for African Americans as well as general human rights. Being black during that era meant having to live through difficult circumstances while striving to survive. Through the guidance and nurture from his parents, Asa inherited his compassion and drive towards racial inequality. In 1891, the Randolph’s moved to Jacksonville, Florida, which had a positive, and well-established African American community.

Asa and his brother were
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At an early age Asa was shown just how cruel the world of racism could be after him and his father were returning clothing that the Reverend had repaired. The client, being a white man, became angry and embarrassed that a black man would walk onto a white man’s property, and therefore chased them both out. On another occasion, Reverend James was approached by a group of African American men who whispered something in his ear. Upon hearing the news, the Reverend fetched his shotgun, gave it to his wife, loaded his pistol, and left. A black man had been accused of raping a white woman and was thrown in jail. Rumors were floating around that the accused man would be lynched by an angry white mob. Reverend James and a few others marched to the police station in hopes of defending the man. There was a small chance of the man having a fair trial, but at least he had not been lynched.
Because continuing education was not the norm for African Americans, Asa and his brother looked for work after graduating high school. Asa landed a job at the Union Life insurance Company. He then floated from job to job. Reverend James had different anticipations for his boys. Knowing that his first born never really followed his faith, he turned to Asa in hopes of him becoming a minister. The reverend felt that he would be ideal due to his experience in public speaking and popularity, but Asa was not so sure. He was more interested in what the future held for African Americans. At that

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