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Jeffrey B. Perry Blog

Hubert Harrison "Tells Plain Facts and the Bosses Don't Like Them"


A little over 100 years ago, on May 19, 1913, Hubert Harrison spoke at a major rally for the Paterson Silk Strikers at the Botto House in Haledon, NJ. Other speakers that day included “Big Bill” Haywood, Patrick Quinlan, Frederick Sumner Boyd, and Elizabeth Gurley Flynn.

The Botto House later became the "American Labor Museum," in part because of the large and important meetings held there during the strike.

The Paterson "Evening News" described Harrison as "very bitter in his denunciations of the New York newspaper writers" and reported that he "commenced a tirade upon one of the writers in particular, and called him a -- dirty dog.”

The anti-strike "Evening News" added that "his comparisons were very blasphemous and not fit for . . . the papers to re-print"

Co-agitator Flynn, however, defended him saying that "he tells plain facts and the bosses don't like them."

(Drawn from Jeffrey B. Perry, “Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918” (Columbia University Press)
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