A. Philip Randolph: The Religious Journey of an African American Labor Leader

A. Philip Randolph: The Religious Journey of an African American Labor Leader

by Cynthia Taylor


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A. Philip Randolph, founder of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, was one of the most effective black trade unionists in America. Once known as "the most dangerous black man in America," he was a radical journalist, a labor leader, and a pioneer of civil rights strategies. His protegé Bayard Rustin noted that, "With the exception of W.E.B. Du Bois, he was probably the greatest civil rights leader of the twentieth century until Martin Luther King."

Scholarship has traditionally portrayed Randolph as an atheist and anti-religious, his connections to African American religion either ignored or misrepresented. Taylor places Randolph within the context of American religious history and uncovers his complex relationship to African American religion. She demonstrates that Randolph’s religiosity covered a wide spectrum of liberal Protestant beliefs, from a religious humanism on the left, to orthodox theological positions on the right, never straying far from his African Methodist roots.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780814782873
Publisher: New York University Press
Publication date: 12/01/2005
Pages: 291
Sales rank: 914,534
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.81(d)

About the Author

Cynthia Taylor teaches American history and religion in the Humanities Department of Dominican University of California.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Religious Journey of A. Philip Randolph
1 One of the Sons of African Methodism
2 The Messenger: A Forum for Liberal Religion
3 The Brotherhood: Religion for the Working Class
4 The 1940s March on Washington Movement: Experiments in Prayer Protests, Liberation and Black Theology, and Gandhian Satyagraha
5 The Miracle of Montgomery
Epilogue: The Old Gentleman
Selected Bibliography
About the Author

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Finally we have a book that seriously examines the religious views of one of the most important figures in modern American history as well as the black freedom struggle.”
-Clarence Taylor,author of Black Religious Intellectuals: The Fight for Equality from Jim Crow to the Twenty-first Century

“Possessing ‘a passion for progressive religion’ (p. xi) herself, Cynthia Taylor is keen to find and trace this quality in her study of religion and A. Philip Randolph.”
-American Historical Review


“Taylor provides intriguing insights on dynamics of social gospel thought and activity in twentieth-century sociopolitical and economic struggle.”
-The Journal for American History

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