Tue. Jan 18th, 2022

On Monday, Feb. 9, Contemporary Issues and Phi Beta Sigma presented a seminar to remember, discuss, and honor A. Philip Randolph, an unsung hero of the civil rights movement, in the Phillips Autograph Library. The seminar began with a presentation organized by Wesley Mosley, Keenab Wilson, Bryan Nugent and Ryan Nugent, four fraternity brothers from the Phi Beta Sigma fraternity. They started the presentation by asking: “What does a hero mean to you?” The fraternity brothers explained that a hero, in their eyes, is a person who puts other people before themselves.

“My mom is a hero,” one audience member added. “She goes above and beyond for others and I look up to her.”

Wilson then asked if anyone knew who A. Philip Randolph was. When most of the audience responded with “no,” Wilson explained, “this is why he is an unsung hero. He was one of the most important people of the civil rights movement, and we need to honor that.”

The Phi Beta Sigma fraternity decided to honor Randolph because he was a member of the fraternity. Randolph was also the “Martin Luther King of his time.”

“If there were a Mount Rushmore for civil rights leaders in the United States, A. Philip Randolph would be one of the four.” Randolph was the valedictorian of his graduating class and excelled in public speaking. This is why he made such a great spokesman for civil rights.

“Salvation for a race, nation or class must come from within,” quoted Wilson. The four Phi Beta Sigma brothers then put on a PowerPoint presentation describing the early life and accomplishments of Randolph. The audience was interested to discover that Randolph won the fight to ban discrimination in the armed forces.

After the presentation, they showed a documentary film on the life of A. Philip Randolph, going through each achievement and struggle of his along the way.

Randolph was an excellent leader, an inspiring activist, and a huge force behind the civil rights movement. The film concentrated on his efforts to build a more equitable society.

“A. Philip Randolph fought to lead the march of 1963 on Washington D.C.”

“It is very important to know how we got to where we are, to know who we are. These people need to be remembered. In the year 2170, people will be honoring Barack Obama, the first black president. But there wouldn’t be a Barack if it weren’t for Randolph,” Nugent said.

A. Philip Randolph could very well be seen as the man who passed the torch down to Martin Luther King Jr.

Alli Snyder is a fourth-year student majoring in Professional Studies and minoring in Theatre and Journalism. She can be reached at AS613905@wcupa.edu

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