A. Phillip Randolph’s Chicken vs. Egg Concern of Freedom


“Negroes must be free in order to be equal, and they must be equal in order to be free… Men cannot win freedom unless they win equality. They cannot win equality unless they win freedom.”

A. Phillip Randolph, civil rights activist, labor union  leader and Florida native.

The ‘So-What?!’ Significance: Today, black people are “free,” but are they seen as equals in the eyes of American society? Looks like it’s still a work in progress.

What Would A. Phillip Randolph Do With Our Current President?

“Black Americans discovered how to place pressure on the federal government when the great labor activist A. Phillip Randolph assembled his legions and threatened President Franklin D. Roosevelt with a march on Washington in 1941 unless he put an end to discrimination in the defense industry. Roosevelt capitulated to Randolph’s demand and signed Executive Order 8802 prohibiting discrimination in the defense industry.”

Source: We Shall Overcome by Herb Boyd Sourcebooks, Inc. 2004, p. 6

Photo Credit: John Bottega