On this day in 1941 Civil Rights & Labor Activist A. Phillip Randolph issued a call for 100,000 Blacks to march on Washington DC to protest discrimination in the Armed Forces and war industries.
Asa Phillip Randolph (4/15/1889-5/16/1979) was a leader in the Civil Rights Movement, the American Labor Movement and Socialist political parties. His continuous agitation with the support of many Labor rights activists against unfair labor practices in relation to people of color led President Franklin D. Roosevelt to issue Executive Order “8802” in 1941 banning discrimination in the defense industries during WW2.
Then they pressured President Harry S. Truman in 1948 to issue Executive Order “9981” ending segregation in the Armed Forces.
Randolph was head of the march on Washington DC where Dr. King delivered his “I Have A Dream!” Speech. He also inspired the “Freedom Budget” Which aimed to deal with the economic problems facing the Black community.