Asa Philip Randolph was one of two sons of Reverend James William and Elizabeth Robinson Randolph. His father was a minister of the AME church which played a major part of black radical politics. They moved to Jacksonville when Randolph was two years old. At Cookman Institute, he and his brother graduated at the top of their classes. In 1911, he traveled to New York with a friend, secretly hoping to become an actor.
At that time, Harlem had a great fervor going on. Part of two migrations were going on, the southern blacks and the other, European immigrants. Because of this, there were tremendous ethnic diversity going on. Randolph took classes at City College and instead of doing what he wanted to do he listened to his parents and went into politics instead of acting. During this time Randolph met his wife, Lucille Green. He also meet his long term acquaintance, Chandler Owen. It was at this time that "the radical ideologogies advocated by the Socialists and the Industrail Workers of the World, then at their peak of influence, helped form his philosophy."1.
"In 1925, Randolph achieved the basis of long-term success with the establishment of the Brother of Sleeping Car Porters (BSCP which was involved with the Pullman Company).In the late 1930s and 1940s, the brotherhood represented a uniquely successful organization of black workers in a highly segregated American work force."3 Soon later around the 1950s, he stepped down from working in the BSCP, to become a national spokesman for African Americans. He mostly was focused on the rising number of Africans and the number of jobs that were coming up because of the war. Usually Blacks couldn't take part in the Army or Navy so Randolph called for a march to change that. Young black people that wanted to be in the Armed Forces but they couldn't because they were black, and so they were all for the march. From hearing what was going on and what was going to take place, President Roosevelt signed an executive order banning discrimination within the Armed Forces.