New PDF release: A. Philip Randolph, pioneer of the civil rights movement

By Paula F. Pfeffer

ISBN-10: 0807120758

ISBN-13: 9780807120750

E-book by way of Pfeffer, Paula F.

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Extra resources for A. Philip Randolph, pioneer of the civil rights movement

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A "different drummer," Randolph was a unique black leader on several counts: He came to prominence through the labor movement, a nontraditional path for Afro-American spokesmen; he adhered to Socialist economic doctrines rather than traditional American capitalist theory; he fused a labor orientation with militancy on racial issues; he popularized the use of mass, nonviolent civil disobedience; and he more nearly resembled a Shakespearean actor than a labor leader in diction and bearing. Because he represented a minority group, alliances were crucial to Randolph's ability to function as a leader.

Internal dissension, combined with government repression, led to the breakup of the radical Messenger group. In 1916 Marcus Garvey arrived in a Harlem bursting from the mass migration of rural southern and West Indian blacks. Attracted by the promise of decent jobs and housing, the newcomers were soon frustrated by discrimination, second-class citizenship, and race riots. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the National Urban League (NUL), and the Messenger all directed their appeals to the middle class.

Touting a gospel of progress, Garvey attempted to enlist the masses behind black business enterprise. Traditionally, Garvey has been portrayed as representing the nationalist side of the separatist-integrationist debate that has long occupied the Afro-American community. Historically, the nationalist philosophy has been based on escapism, and its adherents traditionally were drawn from 17. Editorial, "Friends of Negro Freedom," Messenger (AprilMay, 1920), 4; Messenger (February, 1923), 529. See also advertisement for Friends of Negro Freedom, Messenger (April, 1923 ), 681; Foner, American Socialism and Black Americans, 31415, 324.

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A. Philip Randolph, pioneer of the civil rights movement by Paula F. Pfeffer


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