The Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters (BCSP) was created August 25, 1925 as a union for Pullman porters and maids. While the script and storyline of this movie does not make reference to female membership directly, there are visual references to female voting membership in the meetings and especially in the voting lines, especially as depicted in the union/police confrontation scene towards the end of the movie. The BSCP was the first Afro-American labor organization to receive a charter (membership) in the American Federation of Labor (AFL), and continued to be an active member union of the AFL up to and including the 1955 merger of the AFL with the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) to form the AFL-CIO.
A. Philip Randolph was the first president of the BSCP, serving in that position from 1925 through 1968, and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom (the highest civilian honor awarded in the United States) in 1964 from President Lyndon Johnson. Randolph was born in 1889, in Florida, and died in 1979 in New York City, aged 90.