Author: Gracie Phillips, Downtown Vision Marketing and Events Intern
We all know A. Philip Randolph Blvd as the road that leads to TIAA Bank Field, but do you know about the man behind the name?
Asa Philip Randolph was a Jacksonville legend who was an incredibly influential African American civil-rights activist. He played a role in the Civil-Rights movement, Executive Order 8802, the March on Washington and more. Randolph was also an advocate for equality in the workforce and the military. He is one of the most historically important people to emerge from Jacksonville.
Randolph helped to convince President Roosevelt to create the Fair Employment Practices Committee in 1941, barring discrimination in defense industries and federal bureaus. After WWII, he founded the League for Nonviolent Civil Disobedience Against Military Segregation, which caused President Truman to ban segregation in the armed forces on July 26, 1948. It is thanks to his outstanding leadership that segregation was put to an end in the military.
Randolph also worked alongside Rev. Martin Luther King to organize the 1963 March on Washington, which brought over 200,000 people to the capitol on August 26, 1963. Here, MLK delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech which called for the end of racism. This tremendous event fought for and supported civil-rights policies for African Americans.
We are thankful today and everyday for leaders such as A. Philip Randolph who helped pave the way for justice and equality. It is people like Randolph who help inspire new generations of leaders to stand up for important issues.