The first African American union in the country was The Brotherhood Of Sleeping Car Porters. It was formed by men working on rail cars owned by the Pullman Rail Company. When President Obama made Pullman a National Monument in 2015, he quoted their leader, A. Philip Randolph, who told workers when they organized in 1925. Randolph told the porters: “What this is about is making you master of your economic fate.”
The A. Philip Randolph Museum is adjacent to the Pullman site on Chicago’s South Side, recently renamed a National Historical Park.