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Jeffrey B. Perry Blog

Hubert Harrison -- Described by J. A. Rogers as "the foremost Afro-American intellect of his time"

The brilliant writer, orator, educator, critic, and political activist Hubert Harrison (1883–1927) is one of the truly important yet little known figures of early-twentieth-century America. The historian Joel A. Rogers, in World’s Great Men of Color, describes him as "the foremost Afro-American intellect of his time" and "one of America’s greatest minds." Rogers adds (amid insightful chapters on the early-twentieth-century Black leaders Booker T. Washington, William Monroe Trotter, W. E. B. Du Bois, and Marcus Garvey), "No one worked more seriously and indefatigably to enlighten his fellow-men" and "none of the Afro-American leaders of his time had a saner and more effective program." [For more information CLICK HERERead More 
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"Slavery in All But Name"

“Slavery in All But Name”
from Theodore W. Allen
The Invention of the White Race
Vol. I: Racial Oppression and Social Control
(1994; Verso Books, Nov. 2012), p. 144


The Material Basis for the Abandonment of Reconstruction

Just as the British ruling class had come to accept the necessity of involving the Catholic bourgeoisie in Ireland in the maintenance of social control; so the Northern bourgeoisie, though only for a limited period of time as it turned out, “made him [the Negro] a part of the state,” as the investigative journalist Charles Nordhoff wrote. “If the North had not given the negroes suffrage,” a Southern Democrat confided to him, “it would have had to hold our states under an exclusively military government for ten years.” John Pool, a Republican Senator from North Carolina, said he “accepted the necessity of Negro suffrage only reluctantly, as the only means by which the country could be “nationalized.” The country was in fact in a material sense “nationalized” by other agencies. In 1867, Abilene, Kansas became the railroad loading point for cattle driven up the Chisholm Trail from Texas, intended for northern and eastern markets. Two years later, the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific railroads met at Promontory Point in Utah completing the transcontinental steel spine of United States industrial capitalism. Thus were doomed the hopes of the slave bourgeoisie beyond all appeals to ink or blood. The Northern bourgeoisie, its hegemony in national affairs thus undergirded, signified its acceptance of post-Emancipation racial oppression by abandoning Reconstruction. The subsequent white supremacist system in the South was established, not by civil means, but by nightrider terror and one-sided “riots” in order to deprive African-Americans of their Constitutional rights, reducing them again, by debt peonage and prisoner-leasing, to a status that was slavery in all but name. Read More 
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Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 4 PM Jeffrey B. Perry Discusses Theodore W. Allen's "The Invention of the White Race" on Carson's Corner with Bob Carson

February 9, 2013
Saturday 4 PM. Jeffrey B. Perry discusses Theodore W. Allen's The Invention of the White Race, especially Vol. 2 on The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America and includes insights from Hubert Harrison. On Carson's Corner with Bob Carson.  Read More 
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First Class on Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race" (New expanded edition from Verso Books) Postponed From Feb. 8 to Feb. 15, 2013

The Brecht Forum will be closed on Friday, Feb 8, 2013--because of the “blizzard conditions” in the New York area. The class on Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race" (New expanded edition from Verso Books) will now begin on Friday, February 15, 2013, at 7:30 PM at the Brecht Forum, 451 West St. in New York.

The suggested reading for the first session is the article “The Developing Conjuncture and Some Insights from Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen on the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy" available HERE (at the top left). Read More 
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Hubert Harrison on the Post Office

Hubert Harrison, in 1911 offered the following:

“[T]he Post Office is the one great example of the public ownership of a gigantic public business. The advantage of this government ownership over private ownership has been overwhelmingly demonstrated since the early days of the Post Office Department, and it has provoked comparisons with such privately controlled public industries as railroads, coal mines, and lighting systems.

As long as the Post Office maintained this advantage its very existence was an argument in favor of government ownership and against the large public utilities corporations. This would never do, of course, and consequently, efforts have been made to have it appear a failure and, at the same time, to prevent the extension of its sphere of operations.”

Harrison was a postal worker – he was fired in 1911 (for letters he wrote to the "New York Sun") -- through the efforts of Booker T. Washington’s “Tuskegee Machine” and New York City postmaster Edward Morgan (the man for whom Morgan Station, the largest postal facility in New York, is named). Read More 
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