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A Philip Randolph

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Submitted By druiz429
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A. Philip Randolph
Daneka Ruiz

Born on April 15, 1889 in Crescent City, Florida, Reverend James W. and Elizabeth Randolph gave birth to their second son, Asa Philip Randolph. James worked as a tailor and minister, while Elizabeth worked as a seamstress. Both of his parents were supporters of equality for African Americans as well as general human rights. Being black during that era meant having to live through difficult circumstances while striving to survive. Through the guidance and nurture from his parents, Asa inherited his compassion and drive towards racial inequality. In 1891, the Randolph’s moved to Jacksonville, Florida, which had a positive, and well-established African American community.

Asa and his brother were superior students. Their parents always made sure that the boys had many books to read. The collection of books was small, but powerful. They were exposed to Charles Dickens, Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Charles Darwin, and many more of the greats. They attended the Cookman institute, one of the first schools of higher education for African Americans. Throughout his high school career Asa excelled in many subjects and was noticed for his articulate and confident voice, which he had inherited from his father. Reverend James continuously supported him by letting him know that he was gifted. With those gifts, Asa went on to pursue public speaking, drama, and singing. He graduated as class valedictorian.

James and Elizabeth instilled many important values onto Asa by teaching him that the color of someone’s skin was less important than their character. Staying humble was an important value for the Randolph family. His mother also made sure that he knew the importance of education and defending himself when need be. James’s ethical views helped him guide Asa towards becoming a well-rounded and confident individual. Though he wanted his son to...

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