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Hubert Harrison
Featured in
May-August 2017
Truth Seeker







Jeffrey B. Perry Blog

Hubert Harrison
On Book Reviewing

April 29, 2013

Tags: Hubert Harrison, Hubert H. Harrison, Book Reviewing, A Hubert Harrison Reader


“In the first place remember that in a book review you are writing for a public who want to know whether it is worth their while to read the book about which you are writing. They are primarily interested more in what the author set himself to do and how he does it than in your own private loves and hates. Not that these are without value, but they are strictly secondary. In the next place, respect yourself and your office so much that you will not complacently pass and praise drivel and rubbish. Grant that you don’t know everything; you still must steer true to the lights of your knowledge. Give honest service; only so will your opinion come to have weight with your readers. Remember, too, that you can not well review a work on African history, for instance, if that is the only work on the subject that you have read. Therefore, read widely and be well informed. Get the widest basis of knowledge for your judgment; then back your judgment to the limit.”

Hubert Harrison


For samples of Harrison's work as a reviewer and critic see A Hubert Harrison Reader especially entries 17, 74, and 97-130.

Jeffrey B. Perry -- Slide Presentation/Talk on
The Invention of the White Race (Verso Books) by Theodore W. Allen
with special emphasis on Vol. II: The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America.

April 29, 2013

Tags: Jeffrey B. Perry, The Invention of the White Race, Verso Books, Theodore W. Allen, The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America


Jeffrey B. Perry -- Slide Presentation/Talk on
The Invention of the White Race (Verso Books) by Theodore W. Allen
with special emphasis on Vol. II: The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America.
Hosted by “The Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen Society”
Filmed by Fred Nguyen on January 31, 2013
Brecht Forum, New York City
.

Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918
Comments From Scholars and Activists

April 29, 2013

Tags: Hubert Harrison, The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, Winston James, University of California Irvine, Cornel West, Princeton Arnold Rampersad, Stanford, Manning Marable, Columbia, Amiri Baraka, David Roediger, University of Illinois, Kmozi Woodard, Sarah Lawrence, Joyce Moore Turner, W. Burghardt Turner, Richard B. Moore, Bill Fletcher Jr., Blackcommentator.com, Solidarity Divided, Gary Y. Okihiro, David Levering Lewis, NYU, Christopher Phelps, Ohio State University, Portia James, Anacostia Museum, Gene Bruskin, Peniel E. Jospeh, Brandeis, Booklist, Library Journal, Z Magazine, Industrial Worker, Herb Boyd, Newworld Review, Wilson J. Moses, American Historical Review, Choice, Carole Boyce Davies, Working USA, Clarene Lang, Against the Current, Larry A. Greene, New Politics, LaShawn Harris, Journal of the Gilded Age and the Progressive Era, Black Theology, Science and Society, Sterling Johnson, Journal of American Ethnic History, Teaching for Change, Columbia University Press



"Hubert Harrison is a historic work of scholarship. It is also an act of restitution- belated but generous-for the crime of historical neglect. For as Jeffrey B. Perry makes abundantly clear, Hubert Harrison's contemporaries, from the Harlem radicals of the 1920s (most notably Claude McKay and A. Philip Randolph), to Henry Miller, Eugene O'Neill, and Charlie Chaplin, recognized Harrison's genius and enormous contribution in a variety of fields, yet eighty years after his death he has not been honored with a biography. Perry's effort to make good this lack is a stupendous success. His book is exhaustively researched, richly detailed, beautifully written in a spare and restrained style, and succeeds in capturing the brilliance, wit, and astonishing political and intellectual courage of Harrison. It is a fine and magisterial portrait."
Winston James
professor of history
University of California, Irvine


"Hubert Harrison is the most significant black democratic socialist of early twentieth-century America. Jeffrey B. Perry has brought his thought and practice to life in a powerful and persuasive manner."
Cornel West
Princeton University


"This is a superb study of a neglected but powerfully influential figure in African-American history. As far as I can judge, Jeffrey B. Perry’s scholarship is formidable, his documentation impeccable, his writing lucid and graceful. If his promised second volume is as admirable and compelling as his first, then we would have to count him, with gratitude, among the finest living biographers of black men and women—indeed, one of our finest biographers, without reservation."
Arnold Rampersad
professor of English and the Sara Hart Kimball Professor in the Humanities
Stanford University


"Hubert Harrison was one of the most gifted and creative intellectuals in the American Left and within black America in the twentieth century. Jeffrey B. Perry’s book presents a comprehensive analysis of the first phase of Harrison’s remarkable public career. Before Marcus Garvey came to Harlem in 1916, Harrison had blazed the trail as the leading voice of black radicalism. He founded the New Negro Movement and was a central antiwar leader during WWI. Perry captures Harrison’s brilliance, energy, and leadership during a remarkable period in African-American history. The outstanding scholarship of his study will reawaken popular interest in this remarkable figure."
Manning Marable
professor of public affairs, history, and African American studies
director, Center for Contemporary Black History
Columbia University


"Jeffrey B. Perry's Hubert Harrison breaks open long-sealed tomes of information about the militant aspect of the Harlem Renaissance."
Amiri Baraka


"In rescuing a very particular hero and genius from what E. P. Thompson once called the 'enormous condescension of posterity,' this monumental and acute biography becomes the best point of entry into the whole history of modern radicalism in the United States."
David Roediger
University of Illinois
author of How Race Survived U.S. History


"This book is the epic tale of the lost ancestor of Black radicalism, Hubert H. Harrison, the great black working-class intellectual who stood at the epicenter of politics in the Harlem Renaissance. Like Malcolm X, Harrison was not only a revolutionary but also a master teacher and a leader of leaders, and his dramatic story of self-education, self-emancipation, and self-transformation will both awaken and reorient a new generation of Black liberation at the grassroots around the globe."
Komozi Woodard
Sarah Lawrence College


"For decades a brilliant and critical voice of the Harlem Renaissance has been practically ignored by historians. At last that serious gap will be filled by Jeffrey B. Perry who has thoroughly researched and carefully crafted a two-part definitive biography of the "Father of Harlem Radicalism," Hubert H. Harrison. These volumes, along with his previously published collection of Harrison's writings, are a significant contribution because they reveal in rich detail and masterful treatment the life of one of the most unique and influential African American thinkers of that time. The people of Harlem flocked to Harrison's "university level" street orations on a wide range of topics but few knew of his numerous journal articles on society, science and socialism. Perry was driven to conduct extensive research when he discovered Harrison's clarity of writing and perceptiveness of analysis. Surely his own clarity of writing, meticulous attention to events and other activists, and masterful analysis will prove in time to be an essential classic for understanding the political movements of the period."
Joyce Moore Turner
author of Caribbean Crusaders and the Harlem Renaissance,
co-editor with W. Burghardt Turner of
Richard B. Moore, Caribbean Militant in Harlem


"Jeffrey B. Perry has made a significant contribution to the history of Black radicalism through his biography of Hubert Harrison. With thorough research and compelling analysis, Perry offers the reader insight into a brilliant and under-studied activist and intellectual who played a major role in helping to shape the Black radical tradition. Hubert Harrison reads with a draw like that of a study of a long lost city, rediscovered and offering answers to an incomplete history."
Bill Fletcher, Jr.
Executive Editor, BlackCommentator.com
co-author of Solidarity Divided


"Entrusted with the remains of Hubert Harrison's papers, Jeffrey B. Perry favors us with this meticulous chronicle of one of the century's most influential voices for democracy and freedom. Harrison, island-born, colonial subject, and immigrant, stirred the masses in Harlem, at the time the center of Black radical thought, to a "new race-consciousness" and an apprehension of "their powers and destiny"" in the United States and world. Hubert Harrison testifies to the remarkable durability of lives well lived and truths told straight."
Gary Y. Okihiro
Columbia University
author of Island World: A History of Hawai'i and the United States


"Jeffrey Perry's significant biography lives up to the promise of its title. Finally, the voice of this major Harlem Renaissance progressive is to be heard again loud and clear."
David Levering Lewis
New York University
author of a two-volume biography of W.E.B. Du Bois


"Hubert Harrison was in his lifetime the leading American black intellectual socialist, but he receded from memory after his death. We are all in debt to Jeffrey B. Perry for his devoted and fastidious recuperation of Harrison's memory. This assiduously researched biography, an extraordinary feat of scholarship, restores Harrison to his proper standing in the pantheon of other Afro-Caribbeans, from Marcus Garvey to C. L. R. James, who contributed to reshaping American political thought in the twentieth century."
Christopher Phelps
Ohio State University


"One of the most significant 20th century African American philosophers, Jeff Perry finally accords Harrison his place among the forebears of modern African American political and cultural thought, and also suggests the sweeping scope of Harrison's life and achievement."
Portia James
Cultural Resources Manager & Senior Curator
Anacostia Community Museum


"Jeffrey B. Perry's Hubert Harrison is not simply an archaeological uncovering of a century old Black icon. Harrison's life and his insights on race and class, especially during wartime, leap off the page. They particularly resonate today. Harrison challenged the government's hypocritical notion of sending Black men to fight and die to make "the world safe for democracy" in World War I, while they were being lynched, segregated and disenfranchised at home. I see Harrison's ghost on a Harlem soapbox today exposing the links between the destructive wars abroad and the need to expand the fight for civil liberties and civil rights and to forge a new global partnership with the world's people. This is a ghost that needs to be listened to."
Gene Bruskin
National Co-Convener
US Labor Against the War


"A groundbreaking biography and act of historical recovery that restores Hubert Harrison’s vital importance to African American history and politics during the New Negro era. Meticulously written and painstakingly researched, Hubert Harrison is a major work of scholarship that will transform understanding of black life during the early twentieth century."
Peniel E. Joseph
Brandeis University
author of Waiting 'Til the Midnight Hour: A Narrative History of Black Power in America


"Perry’s detailed research brings to life a transformative figure who has been little recognized for his contributions to progressive race and class politics."
Booklist


"Perry's clear prose allows access to a three-dimensional picture of Harrison's life."
Library Journal


"An excellent work and a great contribution to scholarship . . . Perry must be applauded."
Bill Fletcher, Jr.
Z Magazine


"[Hubert Harrison] offers profound insights on race, class, religion, immigration, war, democracy, and social change in America."
Industrial Worker


"Through Perry's prodigious research Harrison's brilliance can once more engage a generation eager to find inspiration and renewed political spirit."
Herb Boyd
The Neworld Review


"[A] brilliant masterpiece."
Wilson J. Moses
American Historical Review


"This critically important book will do for Harrison what David Levering Lewis did for Du Bois . . . Essential."
Choice


"This meticulously-researched book fills and enormous gap in the knowledge of black activist intellectuals in the US."
Carole Boyce Davies
Working USA


"Rich and exhaustively researched."
Clarence Lang
Against the Current


"Scholars and students . . . are indeed indebted to Jeffrey Perry for this magisterial study of Hubert Harrison."
Larry A. Greene
New Politics


"Perry offer(s) new and provocative analyses of African American leadership during the early twentieth century."
LaShawn Harris
Journal of the Gilded Age and the Progressive Era


"Hubert Harrison is more than a work of scholarship. It is a timely act of generous recognition and restitution of a Black Caribbean scholar who played a significant role in the story of Harlem Radicalism."
Black Theology: An International Journal


"Perry's biography gives an illuminating account not only of Harrison's strengths and weaknesses but also of the larger historical contradictions informing Black radicalism and Marxism during Harrison's lifetime."
Science & Society


"Perry's rich biography of Harrison is filled with examples of leadership that would eventually be followed nationwide and result in black political power in Harlem."
Sterling Johnson
Journal of American Ethnic History


For more information CLICK HERE and CLICK HERE

Contact with the Stern Realities of Poverty Has Kept My Heart Open to the Call of Those Who Are Down"

April 28, 2013

Tags: Hubert Harrison, Poverty, those who are down, airs, chasm



I have often thought that this contact with the stern realities of poverty . . . has kept my heart open to the call of those who are down and has kept me from giving myself such airs as might make a chasm between myself and my people.

HUBERT HARRISON


For a link to some writings by and about Hubert Harrison CLICK HERE

"During the War the Idea of Democracy was Widely Advertised"

April 28, 2013

Tags: Hubert Harrison, War, Democracy, Convenient Camouflge, Imperialists, Sordid Aims



During the war the idea of democracy was widely advertised, especially in the English-speaking world, mainly as a convenient camouflage behind which competing imperialists masked their sordid aims. . . . those who so loudly proclaimed and formulated the new democratic demands never had the slightest intention of extending the limits or the applications of ‘democracy.’”

Hubert Harrison


For more information by, and about Hubert Harrison

HAPPY BIRTHDAY HUBERT H. HARRISON
April 27, 1883 -- December 17, 1927

April 26, 2013

Tags: Hubert H. Harrison, Hubert Harrison, Birthday, Kevin Rashid Johnson, A. Philip Randolph, Marcus Garvey, Arthur Schomburg, New Negro, Socialism, The Voice, Liberty League, Jeffrey B. Perry



April 27th is the 130th Anniversary of the Birth of Hubert Henry Harrison (1883-1927)


Hubert Harrison (1883-1927) is one of the truly important figures of early twentieth-century America. A brilliant writer, orator, educator, critic, and political activist, he was described by the historian Joel A. Rogers, in World’s Great Men of Color as “the foremost Afro-American intellect of his time.” Rogers adds that “No one worked more seriously and indefatigably to enlighten” others and “none of the Afro-American leaders of his time had a saner and more effective program.” Labor and civil rights leader A. Philip Randolph described Harrison as “the father of Harlem Radicalism.” Harrison’s friend and pallbearer, Arthur Schomburg, fully aware of his popularity, eulogized to the thousands attending Harrison’s Harlem funeral that he was also “ahead of his time.”

Born in St. Croix, Danish West Indies, in 1883, to a Bajan mother and a Crucian father, Harrison arrived in New York as a seventeen-year-old orphan in 1900. He made his mark in the United States by struggling against class and race oppression, by helping to create a remarkably rich and vibrant intellectual life among African Americans, and by working for the enlightened development of the lives of “the common people.” He consistently emphasized the need for working class people to develop class consciousness; for “Negroes” to develop race consciousness, self-reliance, and self-respect; and for all those he reached to challenge white supremacy and develop modern, scientific, critical, and independent thought as a means toward liberation.

A self-described “radical internationalist,” Harrison was extremely well-versed in history and events in Africa, Asia, the Mideast, the Americas, and Europe. More than any other political leader of his era, he combined class consciousness and anti-white supremacist race consciousness in a coherent political radicalism. He opposed capitalism and maintained that white supremacy was central to capitalist rule in the United States. He emphasized that “politically, the Negro is the touchstone of the modern democratic idea”; that “as long as the Color Line exists, all the perfumed protestations of Democracy on the part of the white race” were “downright lying”; that “the cant of ‘Democracy’” was “intended as dust in the eyes of white voters”; and that true democracy and equality for “Negroes” implied “a revolution . . . startling even to think of.”

Working from this theoretical framework, he was active with a wide variety of movements and organizations and played signal roles in the development of what were, up to that time, the largest class radical movement (socialism) and the largest race radical movement (the “New Negro”/Garvey movement) in U.S. history. His ideas on the centrality of the struggle against white supremacy anticipated the profound transformative power of the Civil Rights/Black Liberation struggles of the 1960s and his thoughts on “democracy in America” offer penetrating insights on the limitations and potential of America in the twenty-first century.

Harrison served as the foremost Black organizer, agitator, and theoretician in the Socialist Party of New York during its 1912 heyday; he founded the first organization (the Liberty League) and the first newspaper (The Voice) of the militant, World War I-era “New Negro” movement; and he served as the editor of the Negro World and principal radical influence on the Garvey movement during its radical high point in 1920. His views on race and class profoundly influenced a generation of “New Negro” militants including the class radical A. Philip Randolph and the race radical Marcus Garvey.

Considered more race conscious than Randolph and more class conscious than Garvey, Harrison is the key link in the ideological unity of the two great trends of the Black Liberation Movement--the labor and civil rights trend associated with Martin Luther King, Jr., and the race and nationalist trend associated with Malcolm X. (Randolph and Garvey were, respectively, the direct links to King marching on Washington, with Randolph at his side, and to Malcolm, whose parents were involved with the Garvey movement, speaking militantly and proudly on street corners in Harlem.)

Harrison was not only a political radical, however. Rogers described him as an “Intellectual Giant and Free-Lance Educator,” whose contributions were wide-ranging, innovative, and influential. He was an immensely skilled and popular orator and educator who spoke and/or read six languages; a highly praised journalist, critic, and book reviewer (reportedly the first regular Black book reviewer "in Negro newspaperdom"); a pioneer Black activist in the freethought and birth control movements; a bibliophile and library builder and popularizer who helped develop the 135th Street Public Library into what became known as the internationally famous Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; a pioneer Black lecturer for the New York City Board of Education, and one of its foremost orators). His biography offers profound insights on race, class, religion, immigration, war, democracy, and social change in America.

For reviewers' comments from scholars and activists on “Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918” CLICK HERE and CLICK HERE.

For Columbia University Press’s page on the biography CLICK HERE

For a link to some writings by and about Hubert Harrison CLICK HERE

“Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918” (the first volume of a projected two-volume biography of Harrison) is now on sale at a special 50% off discount.

It is selling for $14 in paperback from Columbia University Press through April 30, 2013 CLICK HERE

(To save 50% simply use the coupon code "SALE" in your shopping cart after you have entered the book for your order, click "apply" and your savings will be calculated.)

Jeffrey B. Perry



Artist Kevin “Rashid” Johnson is Defense Minister of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party – Prison Chapter (not to be confused with the “New Black Panther Party”). He is the author of Defying the Tomb: Selected Prison Writings and Art, Featuring Exchanges with an Outlaw (2010), "Political Struggle in the Teeth of Prison Reaction: From Virginia to Oregon,", Socialism and Democracy, Vol. 27, No. 1 (2013), 78-94, other articles in Socialism & Democracy (nos. 38 and 43), and many other works available online. Address: Kevin Johnson, no. 19370490, Snake River Correctional Institution, 777 Stanton Blvd., Ontario, OR 97914.

April 27th is the 130th Anniversary of the Birth of Hubert Henry Harrison (1883-1927)
Please Help to Call Attention to His Important Life and Work and to the Struggles He and Others Waged

April 25, 2013

Tags: Hubert Henry Harrison, birthday



April 27th is the 130th Anniversary of the Birth of Hubert Henry Harrison (1883-1927)
Please Help to Call Attention to His Important Life and Work and to the Struggles He and Others Waged


Hubert Harrison (1883-1927) is one of the truly important figures of early twentieth-century America. A brilliant writer, orator, educator, critic, and political activist, he was described by the historian Joel A. Rogers, in World’s Great Men of Color as “the foremost Afro-American intellect of his time.” Rogers adds that “No one worked more seriously and indefatigably to enlighten” others and “none of the Afro-American leaders of his time had a saner and more effective program.” Labor and civil rights leader A. Philip Randolph described Harrison as “the father of Harlem Radicalism.” Harrison’s friend and pallbearer, Arthur Schomburg, fully aware of his popularity, eulogized to the thousands attending Harrison’s Harlem funeral that he was also “ahead of his time.”

Born in St. Croix, Danish West Indies, in 1883, to a Bajan mother and a Crucian father, Harrison arrived in New York as a seventeen-year-old orphan in 1900. He made his mark in the United States by struggling against class and race oppression, by helping to create a remarkably rich and vibrant intellectual life among African Americans, and by working for the enlightened development of the lives of “the common people.” He consistently emphasized the need for working class people to develop class consciousness; for “Negroes” to develop race consciousness, self-reliance, and self-respect; and for all those he reached to challenge white supremacy and develop modern, scientific, critical, and independent thought as a means toward liberation.

A self-described “radical internationalist,” Harrison was extremely well-versed in history and events in Africa, Asia, the Mideast, the Americas, and Europe. More than any other political leader of his era, he combined class consciousness and anti-white supremacist race consciousness in a coherent political radicalism. He opposed capitalism and maintained that white supremacy was central to capitalist rule in the United States. He emphasized that “politically, the Negro is the touchstone of the modern democratic idea”; that “as long as the Color Line exists, all the perfumed protestations of Democracy on the part of the white race” were “downright lying”; that “the cant of ‘Democracy’” was “intended as dust in the eyes of white voters”; and that true democracy and equality for “Negroes” implied “a revolution . . . startling even to think of.” Working from this theoretical framework, he was active with a wide variety of movements and organizations and played signal roles in the development of what were, up to that time, the largest class radical movement (socialism) and the largest race radical movement (the “New Negro”/Garvey movement) in U.S. history. His ideas on the centrality of the struggle against white supremacy anticipated the profound transformative power of the Civil Rights/Black Liberation struggles of the 1960s and his thoughts on “democracy in America” offer penetrating insights on the limitations and potential of America in the twenty-first century.

Harrison served as the foremost Black organizer, agitator, and theoretician in the Socialist Party of New York during its 1912 heyday; he founded the first organization (the Liberty League) and the first newspaper (The Voice) of the militant, World War I-era “New Negro” movement; and he served as the editor of the Negro World and principal radical influence on the Garvey movement during its radical high point in 1920. His views on race and class profoundly influenced a generation of “New Negro” militants including the class radical A. Philip Randolph and the race radical Marcus Garvey. Considered more race conscious than Randolph and more class conscious than Garvey, Harrison is the key link in the ideological unity of the two great trends of the Black Liberation Movement--the labor and civil rights trend associated with Martin Luther King, Jr., and the race and nationalist trend associated with Malcolm X. (Randolph and Garvey were, respectively, the direct links to King marching on Washington, with Randolph at his side, and to Malcolm, whose parents were involved with the Garvey movement, speaking militantly and proudly on street corners in Harlem.)

Harrison was not only a political radical, however. Rogers described him as an “Intellectual Giant and Free-Lance Educator,” whose contributions were wide-ranging, innovative, and influential. He was an immensely skilled and popular orator and educator who spoke and/or read six languages; a highly praised journalist, critic, and book reviewer (reportedly the first regular Black book reviewer "in Negro newspaperdom"); a pioneer Black activist in the freethought and birth control movements; a bibliophile and library builder and popularizer who helped develop the 135th Street Public Library into what became known as the internationally famous Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture; a pioneer Black lecturer for the New York City Board of Education, and one of its foremost orators). His biography offers profound insights on race, class, religion, immigration, war, democracy, and social change in America.

For reviewers’ comments from scholars and activists on “Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918” CLICK HERE and CLICK HERE. For Columbia University Press’s page on the biography CLICK HERE

For a link to some writings by and about Hubert Harrison CLICK HERE

“Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918” (the first volume of a projected two-volume biography of Harrison) is now on sale at a special 50% off discount. It is selling for $14 in paperback from Columbia University Press CLICK HERE (To save 50% simply use the coupon code "SALE" in your shopping cart after you have entered the book for your order, click "apply" and your savings will be calculated.)

Kevin "Rashid" Johnson
“Restoring the Past to Serve the Future:
Some Comments in Review of
A Hubert Harrison Reader, . . . and . . .
Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism: 1883-1918"

April 24, 2013

Tags: Kevin "Rashid" Johnson, Restoring the Past to Serve the Future, Some Comments in Review, A Hubert Harrison Reader, Jeffrey B. Perry, Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism: 1883-1918

“Restoring the Past to Serve the Future: Some Comments in Review of A Hubert Harrison Reader, ed. and intro. by Jeffrey B. Perry (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press, 2001) and Jeffrey B. Perry, Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918 (New York: Columbia University Press, 2008)"

“Those who do not learn from history are bound to repeat it.”
George Santayana


To advance correctly, an oppressed people must be correctly oriented in today’s and tomorrow’s struggles. To do this they must get the history right.

The masses of New Afrikan/Black People have long suffered a condition of historical amnesia, which has stagnated our development economically, politically, culturally and in matters of our collective security. This has allowed those who have kept and mean to keep us in a state of subjugation and repression, the power to mold and manipulate our every thought and belief. And as Carter G. Woodson once stated, when you control a people’s thinking you control them. You don’t have to tell them to use the back door; they will do it automatically. And when there is no back door they will cut one for the purpose.

The cause of our amnesia is a lack of historical continuity. We’ve forgotten -- and by design – where we came from, where we’ve been, how we got where we are, and the obstacles we met along the way. Our body is covered with scars that we don’t remember how we got. In fact many of us don’t recognize ourselves as an organic part of a common body.

Therefore, every few generations we find ourselves repeating the same processes, treading the same paths, falling over the same obstacles, and suffering the same injuries in our quest for liberation. In fact, we keep struggling with the same questions, including trying to determine what liberation actually is. So we don’t even know what we are struggling for, nor who and what our true enemies and friends are, with the result that many of us exhaust ourselves reacting blindly and thrashing around, while many others don’t struggle at all beyond treading water and floating with the current. But even treading water becomes exhausting too . . . so we drown.

Jeffrey Perry’s labors in excavating the history of the work of Hubert Harrison represent an important step towards restoring our collective memory. One need make but a cursory study of Hubert Harrison’s life and work to recognize his invaluable contribution to the struggle for New Afrikans/Blacks -- in particular as we developed from the stifled conditions of a rural peasantry (sharecropping, peonage, etc.) into the worldly conscious urban proletariat.

Hubert Harrison’s was a great critical mind – perhaps one of our greatest – that pondered and sought out practical solutions to all aspects and trouble of the New Afrikan/Black experience at a critical stage of our awakening and development. And he pulled no punches. He questioned, challenged and sought to organize us and against not only the external forces that oppressed his people, but also the opportunists amongst us who for personal gain played on the People’s desperation, insecurities and need of genuine liberatory leadership. He even challenged the most influential institution of New Afrikan/Black society, namely the church.

Like those genuine popular based leaders and organizations that came after him, such as Malcolm X, Mao-Tse-tung, Amilcar Cabral, the Black Panther Party, etc., Hubert Harrison was a teacher, leader and organizer who based himself among the people and committed his work and energy to serving them. He used his mind not for personal gain, but to serve and uplift the downtrodden, the poor and the oppressed. He was a true working class intellectual, and like many of our great independent New Afrikan/Black leaders (e.g. Huey P. Newton, Malcolm X, George Jackson, James Yaki Sayles aka Atiba Shanna, etc.), he was self-educated.

Hubert Harrison was the founder of the “New Negro Movement,” the “Black Power Movement” of the early 1900s, and influenced every radical current in the greatest period and place of our cultural awakening – the Harlem Renaissance. Indeed, he was called the “Father of Harlem Radicalism.” And no one contributed more than he to the development of the New Afrikan/Black press during that era, which in 1926 was called “the greatest single power in the Negro race.”(1)

He was among the first New Afrikans/Blacks: to recognize that we constitute not merely a race but a distinct historically developed nationality of people and preceded the Comintern in calling for an “independent Negro nation” in the U.S.; to advance our right to organize armed self-defense against lynching and racial violence, and lead the fight for federal anti-lynching laws; to lead the fight for New Afrikan/Black voting rights; to develop a left orientation on Pan-African unity and struggle; to see our condition in America as connected to that of other peoples across the world oppressed by capitalist imperialism. It was his work and mass based approach to teaching that made Marcus Garvey’s UNIA-ACL the single largest New Afrikan/Black organization to date. He was among the first to recognize white racism as the principal obstacle to revolutionary class struggle in Amerika, and he struggled with both the white Left and amongst his own People to counter this impediment. And consistent with this important realization, Jeffrey Perry has linked excavating Hubert Harrison’s work with also advancing that of Theodore Allen, who has given greater and clearer historical and political study, analysis, and insight to racism as a capitalist divide and conquer strategy, that has been used and refined with the greatest effect since the latter 1600’s to prevent united struggle of the laboring and oppressed classes.(2)

In many respects, Hubert Harrison was more comprehensive and advanced than most radical leaders we’ve had to date, many of whom would undoubtedly have avoided and conquered many of the obstacles that have thwarted our struggles, had they been exposed to and built upon his contributions. Indeed, his was such a powerful, controversial and uncompromising beacon that, from his day until now, those who serve as the historical and cultural gatekeepers of the imperialist system and other institutions of exploitation, consciously wrote him out of history.

By reviving the life and work of this monumental leader, Jeffrey Perry is restoring to us all suffering people a large chunk of forgotten history, from one of the most important stages of New Afrikan/Black development with which we can today discover who we are, where we’ve been, how we got here, and what obstacles to avoid and how, in our ongoing struggle for genuine liberation. In fact we can begin to answer and understand collectively what liberation really means.

We can’t overstate the importance of Hubert Harrison’s work and life, nor the service Jeffrey Perry is rendering to a long oppressed people, in restoring this missing link to our collective memory.

Dare to Struggle Dare to Win!
All Power to the People!

Kevin “Rashid” Johnson

Notes
1) Edwin Mims, Advancing South: Stories of Progress and Reaction (Garden City: Doubleday, Page & Co., 1926), p. 262.

2) Jeffrey B. Perry, “In Memoriam: Theodore W. Allen,” Cultural Logic, Vol. 8 (2005); Jeffrey B. Perry, “Introduction,” in Theodore W. Allen, Class Struggle and the Origin of Racial Slavery: The Invention of the White Race (The Center for the Study of Working Class Life, SUNY, Stony Brook, 2006) in Cultural Logic, Vol. 9 (2006); see also Jeffrey B. Perry, “Introduction,” The Invention of the White Race, Vol. I; Racial Oppression and Social Control, (New York: Verso, 2012) and Vol. II: The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America (New York: Verso, 2012); Jeffrey B. Perry, “The Developing Conjuncture and Some Insights from Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen on the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy,” Cultural Logic (2010).

Kevin “Rashid” Johnson is Defense Minister of the New Afrikan Black Panther Party – Prison Chapter (not to be confused with the “New Black Panther Party”). He is the author of Defying the Tomb: Selected Prison Writings and Art, Featuring Exchanges with an Outlaw (2010), "Political Struggle in the Teeth of Prison Reaction: From Virginia to Oregon,", Socialism and Democracy, Vol. 27, No. 1 (2013), 78-94, other articles in Socialism & Democracy (nos. 38 and 43), and many other works available online. Address: Kevin Johnson, no. 19370490, Snake River Correctional Institution, 777 Stanton Blvd., Ontario, OR 97914.

He writes of this review – “I was delayed in getting this review written due to wanting to complete all the books . . . sent, (specifically Allen’ books), and the uniforms had the first version of the review in my stored property and I hadn’t been able to access it . . . still haven’t, actually. In fact, they took all my books a couple of months ago, so I’ve just gone ahead and rewritten the review . . . rather than keep putting it off.”






Theodore W. Allen's, "The Invention of the White Race" on R.A.P. (Revolutionary African Perspectives), WRFG, 89.3 FM, Atlanta, GA -- Monday April 8, 2013 at 7 PM

April 4, 2013

Tags: Theodore W. Allen, The Invention of the White Race, The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America, Hubert Harrison, Sobukwe Shukura, R.A.P. (Revolutionary African Perspectives), WRFG, 89.3 FM

On Monday, April 8, 2013, from 7 – 8 pm, Jeffrey B. Perry will discuss Theodore W. Allen's "The Invention of the White Race" with special focus on Vol. 2 "The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America" and insights from Hubert Harrison with host Sobukwe Shukura on R.A.P. (Revolutionary African Perspectives), WRFG, 89.3 FM, Atlanta, GA.

Sunday, April 7, 2013, at 5:00 PM, “The Invention of the White Race,” Busboys and Poets in Washington, DC

April 4, 2013

Tags: Theodore W. Allen, The Invention of the White Race, Jeffrey B. Perry, Busboys and Poets

On Sunday, April 7, 2013, at 5:00 PM, Jeffrey B. Perry will discuss “The Invention of the White Race” (Verso Books) by Theodore W. Allen with special emphasis on Vol. 2: “The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America.” The presentation is part of the monthly A.C.T.O.R. (A Continuing Talk on Race) open discussion series at Busboys and Poets, 2021 14th St. NW (14th and “V” Sts.), Washington, DC.

Please share this information with friends in the DC area!

For additional information on Theodore W. Allen's "The Invention of the White Race" Vol. 2: "The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-Amrica" Click Here

For information on the Busboys and Poets Event CLICK HERE

"W.E.B. Du Bois and Theodore W. Allen: White Supremacy and The Invention of the White Race" Temple University April 6, 2013

April 4, 2013

Tags: W. E. B. Du Bois Symposium, Theodore W. Allen, White Supremacy, The Invention of the White Race

On Friday/Saturday April 5-6, 2013 there will be a Du Bois Symposium at Temple University in Philadelphia, which includes a Saturday, April 6, presentation at 1:30 PM on "W.E.B. Du Bois and Theodore W. Allen: White Supremacy and The Invention of the White Race" by Jeffrey B. Perry. The talk will discuss Du Bois's (more…)

"The "Invention of the White Race" -- 2 NYC Events Fri., April 5, 7 AM WBAI, 7:30 PM Brecht Forum

April 4, 2013

Tags: Theodore W. Allen, The Invention of the White Race, Verso Books, Class Struggle and the Origin of Racial Slavery: The Invention of the White Race, Jeffrey B. Perry, Felipe Luciano, Wake UP Call, WBAI

WBAI 7 AM

Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race” (Verso Books, 1996 and 2012) and his “Class Struggle and the Origin of Racial Slavery: The Invention of the White Race” (1975; SUNY, Stony Brook, 2006) will be discussed this Friday morning, April 5, 2013, at 7:00 AM by Jeffrey B. Perry with host Felipe Luciano on “Wake UP Call” on radio station WBAI, 99.5 FM in New York.

For additional Allen writings CLICK HERE

To listen live CLICK HERE


Brecht Forum 7:30 PM

An overview of Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race” will be offered this Friday night, April 5, 2013, at 7:30 PM by Jeffrey B. Perry at the Brecht Forum, 451 West St., NY (between Bank and Bethune Sts. off the West Side Drive) in a program hosted by the Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen Society. Perry’s presentation will be followed by a lengthy question and answer period with those in attendance.

Allen’s magnum opus (Vol. 1: "Racial Oppression and Social Control" and Vol. 2: "The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America") details the invention of the “white race” and the development of racial slavery, a particular form of racial oppression, in late 17th and early 18th-century Virginia. Perry wrote the introductions, new back matter, internal study guides, and expanded indexes for the new, 2012, Verso Books edition of Allen’s “classic.”

People in the New York area are encouraged to attend.

Please share this information with those who might be interested!

For information on "The Invention of the White Race", vol. 1: "Racial Oppression and Social Control" including a Table of Contents of the volume) CLICK HERE

For information on the Brecht Forum series CLICK HERE

Slide Presentation/Talk by Jeffrey B. Perry on
The Invention of the White Race (Verso Books)
by Theodore W. Allen
with special emphasis on Vol. II:
The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America

April 1, 2013

Tags: Jeffrey B. Perry, The Invention of the White Race, Verso Books, Theodore W. Allen, The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America, The Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen Society, Fred Nguyen, Brecht Forum


Slide Presentation/Talk by Jeffrey B. Perry on
The Invention of the White Race (Verso Books)
by Theodore W. Allen
with special emphasis on Vol. II: The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America.
Hosted by “The Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen Society”
Filmed by Fred Nguyen on January 31, 2013
Brecht Forum, New York City
.

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

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