January , 2019

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Two-day event will also commemorate founding of Black Labor Movement 


CHICAGO, IL – The A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum will host a triple celebration on August 24 and 25 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, pay tribute to A. Philip Randolph — the visionary who inspired the March — and to commemorate the founding anniversary of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, the first Black labor union in America to be chartered under the AFL. The two-day, triple celebration takes place at the Museum at 10406 S. Maryland in Chicago’s historic Pullman community. It begins on Saturday, August 24, when all of the events are free and open to the public and will climax on Sunday, August 25, with a fundraising reception at the Museum.

Themed: “Honoring the Brotherhood,” the two days of festivities will provide a dynamic forum where the trio of historic events will come to life.

On Saturday, August 24 from 1-5 PM, renowned historian Dr. Christopher Reed and members of the Chicago Black History Forum will share nuggets about the Movement through lectures. One of the forums will chronicle the inspirational saga of the Pullman Porters.  There will also be films, interactive activities, music and vendors.  The celebration will climax on Sunday, August 25th with a gala fundraiser reception from 5-9 PM at the Museum where the legacy of Randolph, and the launch of the Black Labor Movement will be commemorated.  Tickets for this tax-deductible celebration are $50. Proceeds go toward continuing the Museum’s mission to educate the public about the legacy of A. Philip Randolph and the contributions made by African-Americans to America’s labor movement. Newly-elected 2nd Congressional District Congressman Robin Kelly and Illinois State Representative Elgie Sims are among the dignitaries who will attend.

While the March on Washington is hailed as a pivotal point in civil rights history, what is little known is that the March on Washington was spawned by A. Philip Randolph who founded The March on Washington Movement (MOWM) in 1941, along with Bayard Rustin. According to Museum archives, the MOWM was formed to organize a mass march on Washington to pressure the U.S. government to desegregate the armed forces and provide fair working opportunities for African Americans.  With the threat of thousands descending on Washington to protest the government’s failures in these areas, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued Executive Order 8802.

This historic legislation banned discriminatory employment practices by Federal agencies, all unions and companies contracted to perform war-related work.  The order also established the Fair Employment Practices Commission to enforce the new policy. The Commission was the forerunner of the Fair Employment Act.  With all demands met, Randolph and Rustin claimed victory and called off the March on Washington.

Years later, Martin Luther King, Jr., was so moved by the activism, ideals, example and results achieved by Randolph and Rustin’s Movement, that he modeled the historic 1963 March after it.

The Museum will also use the occasion to pay tribute to the Black Labor Movement, which was conceived in August 1925 when A. Philip Randolph founded the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters. It was the first black labor union in America to be chartered under the AFL and, the first to win a collective bargaining agreement, with a major US corporation.

“We are all very excited about the celebrations on August 24 and 25,” declared David A. Peterson Jr., president of the APRPP museum.  “We look forward to providing a forum where the March can be remembered and where the Black Labor Movement can be celebrated. It is only fitting that these events take place at the only museum in the nation that bears the names of Mr. Randolph and the Pullman Porters.”

The A. Philip Randolph Pullman Porter Museum is the only cultural facility in the world devoted exclusively to highlighting the accomplishments of Randolph and the Black Labor movement. Founded in 1995 by historian Dr. Lyn Hughes, the Museum has emerged as the premiere Mecca for chronicling and showcasing those stories.  Opened year-round, the Museum hosts exhibits, programs and has an array of resources on these subjects. Under its new president, David A. Peterson, Jr., Museum 44, the youth and young adult program division of APRPP Museum was launched.  Museum 44 is planning another celebration to memorialize the March on Washington on August 28.

For more information about the events and about the Museum, visit its website at www.aprpullmanportermuseum.org

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