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Extra info for A. Philip Randolph, pioneer of the civil rights movement

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What follows, then, is not an attempt at a full-scale biography, but rather an analysis of Randolph's civil rights leadership. 1 My goal is to demonstrate that Randolph's ideologies and strategies provided the blueprint for the civil rights movement that emerged in the late 1950s and early 1960s. By looking at events through his angle of vision, we can gain new insights into the sources of success and failure of that movement. A secondary aim is to analyze the special difficulties encountered by a leader of a powerless out-group.

Just as Booker T. Washington had seemed too conservative to the young Du Bois, Du Bois now seemed too conservative to the young Socialists. Randolph and Owen consequently demanded a new black leadership. They also supported the Socialist position that World War I was brought about to benefit the capitalist class and, therefore, was of little concern to the workers. Unwilling to fight abroad for a democracy that did not embrace blacks and resentful of the fact that Du Bois had accepted a cap- 8.

Shannon, The Socialist Party of America: A History (New York, 1955), 53. 17 Randolph's early foray into public life ended when the editorial staff of the Messenger was split asunder by three major controversies in the early 1920s. All the disputes centered on differences in ideology. The first of these conflicts concerned the question of support for Marcus Garvey and his Back-to-Africa movement. The rift over Garvey brought into the open the second cause of discord, the simmering nationalistic rivalry between West Indian and American blacks.

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