Hubert Harrison

To read about Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918 at Zinn Education Project and, if you like, to order it from Teaching for Change Bookstore CLICK HERE


1883 Born April 27 in Concordia, Saint Croix, Danish West Indies.

1896-1900 Completes elementary education and works as under-teacher.

1900 Arrives New York City during nadir for African Americans.

1901-07 Completes high school education, breaks from organized Christianity, and is attracted to freethought.

1905-09 Active with St. Benedict’s and St. Mark’s Lyceums, White Rose Home for Working Girls, YMCA, and postal worker press club.

1907 Publishes in the New York Times, hired as a postal clerk, starts diary, moves to Harlem.

1908-11 Attracted to freethought, the single tax movement, and socialism; starts scrapbooks.

1909 Marries Irene Louise Horton.

1910 Criticizes Booker T. Washington in the Sun; first daughter, Frances Marion, born.

1911 Fired from post office through efforts of Washington’s “Tuskegee Machine.”

1911 Leading Black in Socialist Party of New York; writes series on “The Negro and Socialism” in The Call; assistant editor of The Masses; founds Colored Socialist Club; second daughter, Alice Genevieve, born.

1912 Organizes for the Colored Socialist Club; writes on “The Black Man’s Burden” and “Socialism and the Negro” in the International Socialist Review; third daughter, Aida Mae, born; speaks throughout New York and New Jersey.

1913 Featured speaker at Paterson, N.J., silk strike; prominent Socialist speaker in New York and Connecticut.

1914 Teaches at Socialist Party school; criticizes Socialists in letter to the New Review; suspended from Socialist Party.

1914 Teaches at the Ferrer Modern School; publishes “The Negro A Conservative” in Truth Seeker; starts Radical Forum; fourth daughter, Ilva Henrietta, born.

1915 Lectures throughout New York City; begins writing “Negro Society and the Negro Stage”; writes for the New York News and the Colored American Review.

1916 Develops plans for “a Negro newspaper” based on the principle of “Africa First!”; “race first” lectures at Lafayette Hall mark the beginning of the “New Negro Manhood Movement.”

1917 Founds the Liberty League and The Voice; introduces Marcus Garvey to New York crowds; publishes The Negro and the Nation.

1918 Serves as American Federation of Labor organizer among hotel and restaurant workers; co-chairs (with William Monroe Trotter) National Liberty Congress; resurrects The Voice and publishes “The Descent of Dr. Du Bois”; re-joins and then resigns from Socialist Party.

1919 Lectures in Washington, D.C. and Virginia; ill health causes him to cease publication of The Voice; edits The New Negro magazine and writes “Two Negro Radicalisms.”

1920 Becomes managing editor of the Negro World and reshapes the newspaper; speaks on “Lincoln vs. Liberty”; is selected by Garvey to head UNIA delegation to Liberia; writes “Race First versus Class First” and “Crab-Barrel” series; writes critical appraisal of “Garvey’s Character” and “The Garvey Movement” in his diary; shapes resolutions for Convention of the Negro People of the World; publishes When Africa Awakes: The "Inside Story of the Stirrings and Strivings of the New Negro in the Western World"; breaks from Garvey; organizes all-Black Liberty Party; fifth child, son William Alexander, born; ceases work as managing editor of the Negro World and writes columns as associate editor; travels to Virginia and Philadelphia on speaking tours.

1921 Contributing editor and book reviewer for the Negro World; writes “Wanted -- A Colored International” and review of “Emperor Jones.”

1922 Serves as contributing editor and then ceases work for the Negro World.

1922 Begins five-year employment as staff lecturer for New York Board of Education; talks on “The Brother in Black” at the Great Hall of Cooper Institute; writes for the New York World, the Negro Times, the New York Age, the New York Tribune, and the New York Times.

1923 Challenges Ku Klux Klan in Paterson, N.J.; delivers radio talks on “The Brother in Black” and “The Negro and the Nation,” writes for The Nation, the New York Tribune, the Amsterdam News, the New York World, the New Republic, and the National Star.

1924 Writes columns in the New York Inter-State Tattler and the Boston Chronicle and reviews for the Indianapolis Freeman; founds the International Colored Unity League; travels to Massachusetts and the Midwest on speaking tours.

1925-26 Helps found New York Public Library Negro Collection; joins American Negro Labor Council; writes for Modern Quarterly, the Negro Champion, Opportunity, and the Amsterdam News; teaches “World Problems of Race” course; suffers ill health.

1927 Writes for the West Indian Statesman, the Pittsburgh Courier, and the Chicago Defender; edits and publishes Embryo of the Voice of the Negro and The Voice of the Negro; resurrects the International Colored Unity League; dies suddenly (December 17) at Bellevue Hospital and thousands attend his Harlem funeral.

Dr. Yosef A. A. Ben-Jochannan
discussing Hubert Harrison
with Jeffrey B. Perry
and Ilva Harrison
(Hubert Harrison's grandughter)

Hubert Harrison
Life, Legacy & Some Writings

“Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism”
Presentation by Jeffrey B. Perry
Dudley Public Library, Roxbury, Massachusetts,
February 15, 2014

“The Developing Conjuncture and Some Insights From Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen on the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy” by Jeffrey B. Perry is now available at (top left)

This is a pre-publication version of an article that will appear online in "Cultural Logic"

Additional Harrison Writings


Jeffrey B. Perry
on Hubert Harrison, Theodore W. Allen
and the "white race" as a ruling class social control formation.
Interview conducted by Ingemar Smith at Morehouse College, March 4, 2010.

As he was leaving the Socialist Party Hubert Harrison offered what is arguably the most profound, but least heeded, criticism in U.S. left history

A Hubert Harrison Reader
Editor Jeffrey B. Perry interviewed by host Stella Winston for "Straight Up!"
Brooklyn Community Access Television
June 14, 2002.
Part 1

A Hubert Harrison Reader
Editor Jeffrey B. Perry interviewed by host Stella Winston for "Straight Up!"
Brooklyn Community Access Television
June 14, 2002.
Part 2

Jeffrey B. Perry discusses the influence of St. Croix’s rich history of “Direct Action” on Hubert Harrison
Interview with Stella Winston for “Straight Up!”
Brooklyn Community Access Television
June 14, 2002

Hubert Harrison
Brilliant Intellectual and Radical Activist
Presentation by Jeffrey B. Perry
AFSCME, District Council 37, NY, January 27, 2010

Presentation on Hubert Harrison as a brilliant intellectual and radical activist by Jeffrey B. Perry.
A 10-minute segment from a longer presentation at AFCSME, District Council 37 headquarters in New York City, January 27, 2010.

Host Allen Ruff interview with guest Jeffrey B. Perry on A Public Affair, WORT 89.9 FM Madison, Wisconsin, July 10, 2014. . They discussed the life and work of Hubert Harrison (“The Father of Harlem Radicalism"), the work of Theodore W. Allen (author of “The Invention of the White Race”), and the centrality of the struggle against white supremacy. Listen HERE

Hubert Harrison:
The Voice of
Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918

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