Cover image for A. Philip Randolph, pioneer of the civil rights movement
A. Philip Randolph, pioneer of the civil rights movement
Pfeffer, Paula F., 1931-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Baton Rouge : Louisiana State University Press, [1990]

Physical Description:
xiv, 336 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E185.97.R27 P44 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
E185.97.R27 P44 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
E185.97.R27 P44 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
E185.97.R27 P44 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Black History Non-Circ

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Explains how Randolph organized the first all-black labor union, and helped create economic and civil rights organizations.

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

The importance of black socialist civil rights leader A. Philip Randolph (1889-1979), organizer of the Pullman porters--the first all-black labor union, whose nonviolent disobedience strategies anticipated those of Martin Luther King Jr.--has been neglected, rightly argues Pfeffer, associate professor of history at Chicago's Mundelein College. This well-researched study, focusing exclusively on Randolph's career, chronicles his efforts in the 1940s to integrate the armed forces and schools, and his unremitting struggle to achieve economic parity for blacks through fair employment practices, despite dissension among social activists. At the 1963 March on Washington, chaired by Randolph, King proclaimed his ``dream''--which the older man had done much to define. The book resurrects fittingly a major, largely forgotten pivotal leader. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Randolph (1889-1979) was much more than a founder of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and Maids, Pfeffer argues. In not so much a biography as a study of civil rights leadership, she portrays the socialist Randolph as a prototype who in tactics and tenets was the most creative and pivotal black leader of his time. He plotted effective protest patterns such as sit-ins in the 1930s and 1940s that served as models in the 1950s and 1960s. The 1963 March on Washington--in which he was a moving force--was a renewal of his March on Washington Movement of 1943. His synthesis of economics with civil rights offered substantive solutions to social problems nagging the nation, Pfeffer suggests. A complement and corrective to old and recent work on Randolph and a major contribution to studies on the civil rights movement. Highly recommended.-- Thomas J. Davis, Univ. at Buffalo, N.Y. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

A significant biography of a somewhat neglected leader of the Civil Rights Movement. Pfeffer has not written a conventional so much as intellectual biography. She gives only a short history of Randolph's life prior to going to New York City in 1922 and little of his personal life after that, concentrating instead upon his ideas and the organizations he formed. Pfeffer devotes more space to the less well known of Randolph's activities, such as his efforts to integrate the armed services and to form a new political party in 1940s, and his Prayer Pilgrimage and youth marches for integrated schools in the 50s. She gives less attention to the March on Washington Movement, which was well covered in Herbert Garfinkel's When Negroes March (1959). The book is organized topically, with chapters on various movements. Pfeffer argues that Randolph had considerably more impact on the 1960s Civil Rights Movement than has previously been recognized, and seems to prove her points. The book is a necessary acquisition for students of civil rights at all levels. -D. W. Hoover, Ball State University