Negro American Labor Council

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The Negro American Labor Council, was founded May 27-28-29 1960, at the Statler Hilton Hotel, Detroit, Michigan.


The organization grew out of the efforts of labor leader A. Philip Randolph, who was discontented with the apathy of the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) on civil rights issues. In 1959, Randolph proposed the idea of a black labor organization at the NAACP convention.

In May 1960, Randolph was elected president of the new organization and Cleveland Robinson became vice president. On May 23, 1961, Randolph telegraphed Dr. Martin Luther King about NALC’s strong support for the Freedom Rides. In a March 1963 telegram, Randolph and NALC petitioned King to endorse their best known effort, the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. After Robinson became president in 1966, NALC officially joined the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.[1]