FRA Certification Helpline: (216) 694-0240

Asa Philip Randolph (1889-1979) was the founder of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, the first African American-led union to receive a charter from the American Federation of Labor (AFL). In addition to serving as a union leader, Randolph was a civil rights activist. He had a prominent voice in the early Civil Rights movement and helped to successfully lobby the federal government to end racist practices in defense industries and the armed services. Randolph also was the head of the March on Washington in 1963, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have A Dream” speech.

At its peak, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters had more than 18,000 members across Canada, Mexico, and the United States. Membership in the union dropped steadily with the decline in rail travel in the U.S. In the 1960s, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters merged with the Brotherhood of Railway and Airline Clerks (BRAC), now known as the Transportation Communications International Union (TCU).