Collection depicts some of the individuals affiliated with and the activities of the A. Philip Randolph Institute, a national organization of black trade unionists, from 1965 to the mid-1970s. Also depicted are some of the activities of its co-founder, A. Philip Randolph, as a labor leader and President of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (BSCP), from the 1930s to the mid-1970s. The collection consists of studio portraits and views of labor leaders, union officials, civil rights activists and workers, and government officials; and group portraits and views from meetings, rallies, dinners and banquets, presentations, commencements, a memorial service, trips abroad, a voter registration drive, and miscellaneous events. Among those depicted are civil rights leaders and activists Martin Luther King, Jr., Roy Wilkins, Institute co-founder Bayard Rustin; activist Dorothy Height; labor leaders Ashley Totten, Benjamin McLaurin, George Meany, Harry Van Arsdale, and William H. Bowe; actor Frederick O'Neal; and United States President Lyndon B. Johnson. Also included are views of Randolph's wife Lucille. Of note are views of Randolph, as BSCP President, touring Rome while visiting Italy to meet with Italian trade unionists (1952), and posing for group portraits during a visit to Kenya (ca. 1957); views from his 80th birthday dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York City (1969); and group portraits and views showing Randolph, as guest of honor, attending presentations and formal gatherings (ca. 1960s). Documentation of the Institute's political and educational activities are limited.
Content: Some photographs bear photographer's, photography studio'sor photo agency's handstamp on verso; some items bear photography studio's name on recto. Most items bear handwritten captions on verso; some items bear printed or photocopied captions attached to verso. One item is mounted.
Biographical/historical: The A. Philip Randolph Institute, an organization formed to strengthen the alliance between African Americans and the labor movement, was founded in 1965 by labor leader A.Philip Randolph and civil rights activist Bayard Rustin. The Institute has been involved in several labor and progressive causes, including education and job training programs, supporting labor activities, and lobbying for legislative action on civil rights, health care and economic issues. Initially based in Harlem, the Institute,as of the mid 2000s, had over 150 local affiliates in 36 states.