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National Press Club Luncheon Speakers

A. Philip Randolph, August 26, 1963

Civil rights leader and labor activist A. Philip Randolph (1889-1979) addressed a luncheon gathering at the National Press Club two days before the August 28, 1963, March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, for which he served as national director. The march, identified by Randolph’s deputy director, Bayard Rustin, as “a watershed event of the civil rights movement,” brought more than 250,000 participants to Washington’s Mall—the largest demonstration in the nation’s capital up to that time—to demonstrate popular support for civil rights legislation pending in Congress and for broad economic goals, including full employment, to be achieved through governmental action. Throughout his career, Randolph believed that moral objectives of equality and justice could be secured only through fundamental changes in the economic structure of American society. He insisted that civil rights legislation by itself would not solve deeply rooted inequities in American life and that African Americans would never lose their status as second-class citizens until opportunities for economic and educational advancement were guaranteed to all on an equal basis. In pursuance of that perspective, he successfully challenged U.S. presidents and persuaded them to support his agenda.... More [PDF; 208 KB]

Timings (hh:mm:ss)

Introductions: 00:00-04:48
Speech: 04:56-40:49
Q & A: 40:50-55:17

Topics of the Talk

  • History of Social Change and Advances in Freedom, Equality, and Human Dignity: 05:11-09:06
  • March on Washington as a Dramatization of the Civil Rights Revolution: 09:06-10:36
  • Intentions of the March on Washington Movement: 10:37-14:09
  • World Focus on Struggles of Peoples of Color for First-Class Citizenship: 11:33-14:09
  • Cold War Ramifications of the Civil Rights Revolution: 11:47-14:09
  • The Necessity for the Civil Rights Revolution: 14:10-18:48
  • Job Opportunities for African Americans: 14:27-16:39; 40:50-43:51
  • School and Housing Segregation in the U.S.: 16:40-17:28
  • African American Voting Rights and Access to Services: 17:29-18:33
  • The Incomplete Civil War Revolution: 18:49-21:16
  • Reconstruction and Its Counterrevolutionary Aftermath: 21:17-24:11
  • The Beginning of the Civil Rights Movement: 24:12-25:29
  • Recent Organizations in the Civil Rights Movement: 25:30-27:40
  • Intent of the Civil Rights Revolution: 27:41-28:50
  • Peaceful Nature of the March on Washington: 31:01-33:12
  • Proposed 1941 March and Conversations with President Franklin Roosevelt: 34:02-37:46
  • The Civil Rights Revolution, the March on Washington, and Communism: 43:57-45:58
  • AFL-CIO Support of the Civil Rights Movement: 46:04-50:32
  • The Roles of African Americans and Others in the Civil Rights Movement: 50:33-53:49
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  March 11, 2022
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