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Jeffrey B. Perry Blog

“Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918” Read the Reviewers' Comments

“Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918”
Important Summer Reading – Please Pass this to a friend!

Reviewers’ comments from Winston James, Arnold Rampersad, Joyce Moore Turner, Amiri Baraka, John Woodford, Carole Boyce Davies, Wilson J. Moses, Bruce A. Dixon, Scott McLemee, Wayne Glasker, Shelley Ettinger, Cornel West, Manning Marable, Genevieve Ryan, Bill Fletcher Jr., Elena Pajaro Peres, Komozi Woodard, Abayomi Azikwe, E. Ethelbert Miller, David Levering Lewis, Christopher Phelps, Emily Jane Dawson, Colin Benjamin, Herb Boyd, Yuri Kochiyama, Sterling Johnson, David Roediger, Allen Ruff, Felicia Pride, Rhone Fraser, Byan D. Palmer, Vanessa Bush, Peniel E. Joseph, Clarence Lang, Ken Olende, Alberto Benvenuti, Bret McCabe, Peter Moore, LeShawn Harris, Brian Jones, Larry A. Greene, Jonathan M. Hansen, Maria Bibbs, Charles L. Lumpkins, Portia James, George Tyson, Gwen Edwards, Gary Y. Okihiro, Stephanie Hanlon, Lloyd Dev, Gene Bruskin, Michael N. Jagessar, Matt Witt, Ian Kavuma, Susan Van Gelder, Brent McCabe, Hugh Hamilton, Kevin “Rashid” Johnson, Dave Zirin, Lavelle Porter, and others can be found HERE and HERE

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” and “one of America’s greatest minds.” Rogers adds that “No one worked more seriously and indefatigably to enlighten” others and “none of the Afro-American leaders of his time [the era of Booker T. Washington, W. E. B. Du Bois, and Marcus Garvey] had a saner and more effective program.” As Harlem grew into the “international Negro Mecca” and the “center of radical Black thought,” A. Philip Randolph emphasized that Hubert Harrison was “the father of Harlem radicalism.” Read More 
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Update on “The Lautenberg Amendment” Efforts Are Underway to Make it Permanent

According to The Chicago Jewish News online” --

“Mark Hetfield, the president of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, the leading Jewish immigrant advocacy group, said Lautenberg’s final legacy may be making his amendment permanent.

The amendment now requires renewal every year, and at times has been threatened when Congress cannot agree on a budget, as was the case this year.

An amendment authored by Lautenberg to the immigration overhaul now under consideration in Congress would allow the president to fund the Lautenberg provisions without congressional approval. The amendment was part of a package approved last month by the Judiciary Committee, and the odds are that the full bill will pass.”

See Ron Kampeas, “In Senate, Lautenberg maintained commitment to the Jewish Community” in “The Chicago Jewish News online” 6/7/2013 Read More 
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"The Lautenberg Amendment" by Jeffrey B. Perry

“The Lautenberg Amendment” by Jeffrey B. Perry was recently published by both Counterpunch and by BlackAgendaReport (under the title "Two-Tier U.S. Immigration: The Lautenberg Amendment Legacy").

Adam Clymer’s New York Times article on the death of New Jersey Senator Frank R. Lautenberg (June 4, 2013) briefly mentions a “Lautenberg measure [that] gave refugee status to people from historically persecuted groups without requiring them to show that they had been singled out” and noted that the senator “estimated that 350,000 to 400,000 Jews entered the United States under the 1990 law” and that “Evangelical Christians from the former Soviet Union also benefited from the law.”

The article does not mention some of the most significant aspects of the little-known Lautenberg Amendment, Public Law 101-167, which was enacted November 21, 1989 and has been renewed annually by the U.S. Congress.

According to the Congressional Research Service (report on “Refugee Admissions and Resettlement Policy”) the Lautenberg Amendment, allows those groups covered by the legislation (nationals from the former Soviet Union, Estonia, Latvia or Lithuania who are Jews, Evangelical Christians, Ukrainian Catholics or Ukrainian Orthodox; nationals of Vietnam, Laos, or Cambodia; and Jews, Christians, Baha’is and other religious minorities from Iran) to prove they are eligible for special refugee status “with a credible, but not necessarily individual, fear of persecution.” By contrast, the Immigration and Nationality Act “requires prospective refugees to establish a well-founded fear of persecution on a case-by-case basis.” Those covered by the Lautenberg Amendment are eligible for Special Cash Assistance and for Federal Public Assistance Programs including, but not limited to, Social Security, Medicaid, Food Stamps, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

CRS statistics indicate that over 370,000 refugees were admitted from the Former Soviet Union in the first ten years of the Lautenberg Amendment. In October 2002 the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported that “The Lautenberg Amendment allowed some 350,000 to 400,000 Jews from the former Soviet Union to gain entry into the United States without having to prove they were individually persecuted.” In 2010 the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society cited Eric Rubin, Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow stating that the amendment had resulted in almost 440,000 refugees from the former Soviet Union and other regions of the world.

In the year 1992, according to an article in The Christian Science Monitor, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimated that there were 16 to 17 million refugees worldwide of whom the U.S. planned to fund the admission of 122,000, half of whom were to come from the Commonwealth of Independent States (states of the former Soviet Union), with approximately eighty percent of that number being Jewish applicants. The UNHCR pointed out at that time that almost no one emigrating from the CIS was a refugee as defined by the U.N., but that “once an individual asserts that he is a member of the covered class and asserts that he has been persecuted or has a fear of persecution, that individual shall be deemed a refugee.”

Of particular interest in this regard was Senator Lautenberg’s statement in his December 17, 2011, Press Release that “I created this program to allow religious minorities to come live safely in the United States and I am proud that it helped hundred of thousands of people.” Although Lautenberg maintained that his amendment was religion-related, the UJA-Federation of New York’s Jewish Community Study of New York: 2011 Community Report indicates that “almost a fourth” of Russian-speaking Jews in New York “consider themselves belonging to no religion.”

Charles Kamasaki, Executive Vice-President of the National Council of La Raza, in an article in the American Jewish Committee publication Latinos and Jews pointed out that “the admission of former Soviet Jews” under this “special” status meant that “former Soviet Jews were eligible for eventual permanent resident status as well as access to cash assistance, language courses, and job-training programs normally provided only to bona fide refugees.” He added, “To some Hispanic advocates, the inequity was obvious.”

Michelle Alexander in The New Jim Crow describes how “Mass incarceration marginalizes large segments of the African-American community, . . . and then authorizes discrimination against them in voting, employment, housing education, public benefits, and jury service.” Here too, the contrast with the treatment afforded to those covered by the Lautenberg amendment is “obvious.”

A brief look at the Lautenberg Amendment on immigration reveals disparities in classification and treatment between those who are covered and those not covered by the amendment and related special programs and assistance. A much closer look at the disparities in classification and treatment can provide important information for those struggling for more equal and just immigration, refugee, and domestic policies.

For those interested in further investigation of the Lautenberg Amendment on Immigration, the following information was provided by the Public Service Division of the Law Library of Congress –

The Lautenberg Amendment on immigration is part of Pub. L. 101-167 and 8 CFR 245.7.

8 CFR 245.7 is a Federal regulation on the “Adjustment of status of certain Soviet and Indochinese parolees under the Foreign Operations Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 1990 (Pub. L. 101-167). Federal regulations are issued by federal agencies and the issuing agency has authority to make the regulation under laws issued by Congress. This authority can be very direct as in the case of this regulation or more indirect.

Pub. L. 101-167 can be found on the Law Library of Congress’ website THOMAS. Select the option “Public Laws” under the heading “More Legislative Information.” At the next screen select the 101st Congress and then select the range that includes 167. At the following screen scroll down to 167 and click on H.R. 3743 which is the original bill number. At the following screen you will get Bill Summary & Status information with links to additional information. You can access the final text of the legislation by clicking on “Text of Legislation.” The final version of the bill is the enrolled version, version 2 in this case. The legislative history of the bill can be found under “All Congressional Actions with Amendments.”

Dr. Jeffrey B. Perry is an independent, anti-white supremacist, working class scholar. His writing focuses on the lives and work of the anti-white supremacist, working class intellectuals and activists Hubert H. Harrison and Theodore W. Allen. For his website -- Click Here Read More 
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Hubert Harrison Brilliant Intellectual and Radical Activist 10 Minute Video Presentation by Jeffrey B. Perry AFSCME, District Council 37, NY, January 27, 2010

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.
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June 12, 1917 (96 Years Ago) Founding Meeting of Hubert Harrison’s Liberty League First Organization of the Militant “New Negro Movement”

On June 12, 1917, a rally at Harlem’s Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, at 52-60 W. 132nd Street off Lenox Avenue drew 2,000 people to the founding meeting of Hubert Harrison’s “Liberty League,” the first organization of the militant “New Negro Movement.” The audience rose in support as Harrison demanded “that Congress make lynching a Federal crime.” urged support of resolutions calling for enforcement of the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth amendments (outlawing slavery, establishing national citizenship and equal protection, and guaranteeing the right to vote), and called for democracy for “Negro-Americans.”

Scheduled speakers at the event included Harrison, the young activist Chandler Owen, Dr. Adam Clayton Powell, Sr. (the pastor of the Abyssinian Baptist Church on West 40th St.), and other prominent ministers and laymen. Other speakers included a young lawyer, James C. Thomas, Jr. who, later in the year, would run unsuccessfully for Alderman in Manhattan’s 26th district, and Marcus Garvey, a relatively unknown former printer from Jamaica, who had spent some time in Costa Rica, England, and touring the United States. Harrison made clear that this “New Negro Movement” was “a breaking away of the Negro masses from the grip of old-time leaders--none of whom was represented.”

The Liberty League, in June 1917, adopted a tricolor flag. Because of the “Negro’s” “dual relationship to our own and other peoples,” explained Harrison, “[we] adopted as our emblem the three colors, black brown and yellow, in perpendicular stripes.” These colors were chosen because the “black, brown and yellow, [were] symbolic of the three colors of the Negro race in America.” They were also, he suggested, symbolic of people of color world-wide. It was from this black, brown, and yellow tri-color that Marcus Garvey would later, according to Harrison, draw the idea for the red, black, and green tri-color racial flag which the UNIA would popularize, and which later would become identified as Black liberation colors.

While the June 12 meeting at Bethel Church formally founded the Liberty League it was a July 4, 1917, rally at the Metropolitan Baptist Church on 138th Street between Lenox and Seventh Avenues, which drew national attention to the organization and saw the first edition of the Hubert Harrison edited newspaper The Voice: A Newspaper for the New Negro.

Information on the founding of the Liberty League and The Voice and the Declaration, Petition, and Resolutions of the Liberty League can be found Here, Here and and Here Read More 
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The Invention of the White Race Sunday, June 9, 2013, 11:00 am Community Church of Boston

The Invention of the White Race
When: Sunday, June 9, 2013, 11:00 am to 2:00 pm
Where: Community Church of Boston • 565 Boylston Street • Boston

"The Invention of the White Race"

Theodore W. Allen's two-volume The Invention of the White Race presents a full-scale challenge to what Allen refers to as "The Great White Assumption" "the unquestioning, indeed unthinking acceptance of the 'white ' identity of European-Americans of all classes as a natural attribute rather than a social construct." Its thesis -- that the "white race" was invented in late 17th-early 18th century Virginia and Maryland as a ruling class social control formation in response to labor solidarity -- contains the root of a new and radical approach to United States history, one that challenges master narratives taught in the media and in schools, colleges,
and universities. With its equalitarian motif and emphasis on class struggle it speaks to people today who strive for change worldwide.

Jeffrey B. Perry is an independent, working class scholar and author of Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918 (Columbia University Press). Read More 
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