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Jeffrey B. Perry Blog

“Hubert Harrison’s wisdom on race, war, and equality” by Jeffrey B. Perry in “The Christian Century”


“Hubert Harrison’s wisdom on race, war, and equality” by Jeffrey B. Perry in “The Christian Century” CLICK HERE
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April 27 is the Birthday of Hubert Harrison Share Information on the Life and Work of This Giant of Black History


April 27 is the Birthday of Hubert Harrison
Share Information on the Life and Work of This Giant of Black History


Hubert Henry Harrison (April 27, 1883–December 17, 1927) was a brilliant, St. Croix, Virgin Islands-born, Harlem-based, working-class, writer, orator, educator, critic, and political activist. Historian Joel A. Rogers in “World’s Great Men of Color” said that the autodidactic Harrison was “perhaps the foremost Afro-American intellect of his time.” A. Philip Randolph called him “the father of Harlem radicalism.”

Harrison was a “radical internationalist” and his views on race and class profoundly influenced a generation of "New Negro" militants including the class radical Randolph and the race radical Marcus Garvey. Considered more race-conscious than Randolph and more class-conscious than Garvey, Harrison is a key link in the two great trends of the Black Liberation Movement -- the labor/civil rights trend associated with Randolph and Martin Luther King, Jr., and the race/nationalist trend associated with Garvey and Malcolm X.

Harrison was the leading Black activist in the Socialist Party of New York during its 1912 heyday and the only Black speaker at the historic Paterson silk workers strike of 1913.

He was an extraordinary soapbox orator and the New York Times described how he spoke at Broad and Wall Streets in front of the New York Stock Exchange on socialism for over three hours to an audience that extended as far as his voice could reach (in a clear precursor to “Occupy Wall Street”).

In 1917 Harrison founded the first organization, the Liberty League, and the first newspaper, The Voice, of the militant "New Negro Movement.” That year he also led a giant Harlem rally that protested the white supremacist “pogrom” on the African American community of East St. Louis, Illinois (which is only twelve miles from Ferguson, Missouri).

In 1919 Harrison edited The New Negro: A Monthly Magazine of a Different Sort (“intended as an organ of the international consciousness of the darker races -- especially of the Negro race”).

In 1920 he served as editor of the "Negro World" and as the principal radical influence on the Marcus Garvey movement. Toward the end of that year he published his second book, When Africa Awakes: The “Inside Story” of the Stirrings and Strivings of the New Negro in the Western World.

People are encouraged to include Hubert Harrison in their readings, study, course lists, and courses and to encourage public, private, and school libraries to include books by and about him in their collections.

For comments from scholars and activists on "Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918" (Columbia University Press) CLICK HERE

For a link to the Hubert H. Harrison Papers at Columbia University’s Rare Book and Manuscript Library CLICK HERE

For articles, audios, and videos by and about Hubert Harrison CLICK HERE

For information on "A Hubert Harrison Reader" (Wesleyan University Press) CLICK HERE

For information on the new, Diasporic Africa Press expanded edition of Hubert H. Harrison's “When Africa Awakes: The 'Inside Story’ of the Stirrings and Strivings of the New Negro in the Western World” CLICK HERE

For a video of a Slide Presentation/Talk on Hubert Harrison CLICK HERE
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"I had heard of prejudice in America but never dreamed of it being so intensely bitter" Claude McKay

Claude McKay


When Hubert Harrison arrived in the United States from St. Croix in 1900 he was “shocked” by the virulence of the white supremacy he encountered. Other Afro-Caribbean immigrants in that period reacted similarly when they arrived. Harrison’s friend, Jamaica-born Claude McKay, explained that when he came to the U.S.

“It was the first time I had ever come face to face with such manifest, implacable hatred of my race, and my feelings were indescribable . . . I had heard of prejudice in America but never dreamed of it being so intensely bitter.”

For more on this see the article “The Developing Conjuncture and Some Insights From Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen on the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy” in PDF format HERE or at “Cultural Logic” HERE.

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“Some Statistics on the Class and White Supremacist Shaping of U.S. Society”







“Some Statistics on the Class and White Supremacist Shaping of U.S. Society” drawn from the article “The Developing Conjuncture and Some Insights From Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen on the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy” ("Cultural Logic") available in PDF format at the TOP LEFT HERE or at “Cultural Logic” HERE

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Video on Theodore W. Allen's The Invention of the White Race Passes 85,000-Viewers Mark Has Many Insights for TodayStudy and Share Allen's Work





85,000 viewers -- Theodore W. Allen (pioneer of class struggle-based “white skin privilege” analysis in the 1960s and author of “The Invention of the White Race” in the 1990s) and Hubert Harrison (“The Father of Harlem Radicalism”) are two of the most important thinkers on issues of race and class of the 20th century.

They offer a tremendous amount of insights to people struggling today for a more just and radically changed society. Those concerned with issues of race and class are strongly urged to become familiar with their work and to share information by and about them with others.

This video presentation on Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of White Race,” which opens with some insights from the life and work of Hubert Harrison, has just passed the 80,000-Viewers Mark.

This slide presentation / talk by Jeffrey B. Perry was hosted by the “Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen Society” at the Brecht Forum in Manhattan. Long-time activist Muriel Tillinghast chaired the event and long-time activist Sean Ahern assisted with the slides.
The video was shot by Fred Nguyen and made available Courtesy of Fansmiles Productions.

For information on Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race” Volume II: "The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo America" (including comments from scholars and activists, Table of Contents, and an overview of the volume) CLICK HERE Note – the new, expanded Verso Books edition of this volume includes new introductions and notes, an expanded index, and a lengthy and detailed internal study guide.

For information on Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race” Volume I: “Racial Oppression and Social Control" (including comments from scholars and activists, Table of Contents, and an overview of the volume) CLICK HERE Note – the new, expanded Verso Books edition of this volume includes new introductions and notes, an expanded index, and a lengthy and detailed internal study guide.

For information on Theodore W. Allen’s “Summary of the Argument of The Invention of the White Race” Part 1 CLICK HERE
and for Part 2 CLICK HERE

For additional writings by and about Theodore W. Allen CLICK HERE

For an in-depth treatment of the development of the work of Theodore W. Allen see “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 in PDF format at the TOP LEFT CLICK HERE
or at “Cultural Logic” CLICK HERE
Note: Important Allen insights on class struggle, the origin [note singular] of racial oppression in Anglo-America, "whiteness," "racism," and white privileges are offered

97,000 Viewers -- For a video interview with Theodore W. Allen on “The Invention of the White Race” conducted by Stella Winston and viewed by over 97,000 people CLICK HERE

For comments from scholars and activists on "Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918" (Columbia University Press) CLICK HERE
and CLICK HERE

For information on "A Hubert Harrison Reader" (Wesleyan University Press) CLICK HERE
For information on the new, Diasporic Africa Press expanded edition of Hubert H. Harrison's “When Africa Awakes: The 'Inside Story’ of the Stirrings and Strivings of the New Negro in the Western World” CLICK HERE

For a video of a Slide Presentation/Talk on Hubert Harrison CLICK HERE

For articles, audios, and videos by and about Hubert Harrison CLICK HERE

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Five Books to Consider for Readings on Race and Class in America



Five Books to Consider for Readings on Race and Class in America


Jeffrey B. Perry, “Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918” (Columbia University Press, 2008). Also see HERE

Theodore W. Allen, “The Invention of the White Race” Volume I: “Racial Oppression and Social Control" , Edited with an Introduction and Notes by Jeffrey B. Perry (1994, Verso Books, new expanded edition 2012).

Theodore W. Allen, “The Invention of the White Race” Volume II: "The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo America", Edited with an Introduction and Notes by Jeffrey B. Perry (1997, Verso Books, new expanded edition 2012).

“A Hubert Harrison Reader”, Edited with an Introduction and Notes by Jeffrey B. Perry (Wesleyan University Press, 2001).

Hubert H. Harrison, “When Africa Awakes: The ‘Inside Story’ of the Stirrings and Strivings of the New Negro in the Western World,” New Expanded Edition, Edited with Introduction and Notes by Jeffrey B. Perry (Diasporic Africa Press, 2015).

The independent, working class intellectuals -- Harrison and Allen – are two of the twentieth century’s most important thinkers on race and class. They have much to offer readers today.

In addition, here are links to videos of slide presentation talks on –

Theodore W. Allen's “The Invention of the White Race” at the Brecht Forum in New York City and on
Hubert Harrison (at the Dudley Public Library in Roxbury, Massachusetts).


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Hubert Harrison on Book Reviewing (1922)from A Hubert Harrison Reader ed. by Jeffrey B. Perry

Hubert Harrison on Book Reviewing


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.

“On a Certain Condescension in White Publishers” (Part II)
Negro World, March 11, 1922
Reprinted in
A Hubert Harrison Reader
ed. and intro by Jeffrey B. Perry
(Wesleyan University Press)

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“ . . . the ‘white race’ must be understood, not simply as a social construct, but as a ruling class social control formation.” Theodore W. Allen


7. . . . the thesis of "race as a social construct," as it now stands, . . . is an insufficient basis for refutation of white-supremacist apologetics. For, what is to be the reply to the socio-biologist and historian Carl N. Degler who simply says that, ". . . blacks will be discriminated against whenever non-blacks have the power and incentive to do so . . . [because] it is human to have prejudice against those who are different." Or, what if the socio-biologists say, "Fine, we can agree that racial ideology is a social construct, but what is your 'social construct' but an expression of genetic determinants -- another version of Winthrop Jordan's 'unthinking decision'"
8. The logic of "race as a social construct" must be tightened and the focus sharpened. . . . the "white race" must be understood, not simply as a social construct, but as a ruling class social control formation.

For Allen’s “Summary of the Argument of The Invention of the White Race” – for Part 1 see CLICK HERE and for Part 2 see CLICK HERE

For additional discussion of this subject see 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” pp. 77-86 at the top left
at HERE or at “Cultural Logic” HERE


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"Stunning International and Domestic Examples" of Racial and National Oppression in Theodore W. Allen's "The Invention of the White Race"


"With stunning international and domestic examples he shows how racial oppression (particularly in the form of religio-racial oppression) was developed and maintained by the phenotypically-similar British against the Irish Catholics in Ireland; how a phenotypically-similar Anglo bourgeoisie established national oppression in the Anglo-Caribbean and racial oppression in the continental Anglo-American plantation colonies; how racial oppression was transformed into national oppression due to ruling class social control needs in Ireland (while racial oppression was maintained in Ulster); how the same people who were victims of racial oppression in Ireland became “white American” defenders of racial oppression in the United States; and how in America racial oppression took the form of racial slavery, yet when racial slavery ended racial oppression remained and was re-constituted in new form."

This quotation is from a “Counterpunch” piece on Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race” CLICK HERE

For information on Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race” Volume II: "The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo America" (including comments from scholars and activists, Table of Contents, and an overview of the volume) CLICK HERE

Note – the new, expanded Verso Books edition of this volume includes new introductions and notes, an expanded index, and a lengthy and detailed internal study guide.

For information on Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race” Volume I: “Racial Oppression and Social Control" (including comments from scholars and activists, Table of Contents, and an overview of the volume) see CLICK HERE

For Allen’s “Summary of the Argument of The Invention of the White Race” – for Part 1 see CLICK HERE and for Part 2 see CLICK HERE

For more on Allen’s precision with words (including “whiteness”) see this video of a slide presentation/talk on Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of White Race” CLICK HERE

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Hubert Harrison wrote: "I was well aware that Woodrow Wilson’s protestations of democracy were lying protestations, consciously and deliberately designed to deceive."


Hubert Harrison wrote: "I was well aware that Woodrow Wilson’s protestations of democracy were lying protestations, consciously and deliberately designed to deceive."

For comments from activists and scholars on "Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918" (Columbia University Press) CLICK HERE and CLICK HERE

For a video of a Slide Presentation/Talk on Hubert Harrison CLICK HERE

For information on "A Hubert Harrison Reader" (Wesleyan University Press) CLICK HERE

For information on the new, Diasporic Africa Press expanded edition of Hubert H. Harrison's “When Africa Awakes: The 'Inside Story’ of the Stirrings and Strivings of the New Negro in the Western World” see CLICK HERE

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Insights From Theodore W. Allen on the “five-stage cycle”


Insights From Theodore W. Allen on the “five-stage cycle”


In recent articles, including pieces in “Counterpunch” and “Black Star News,” the author David Rosen addresses the themes of a “deepening social crisis gripping the U.S” and “that white skin privilege is being eroded.”

Theodore W. Allen, whose anti-white supremacist, class struggle-based, theoretical approach pioneered “white skin privilege” analysis in the mid-1960s offered important insights relevant to the currently developing conjuncture. In an instructive 1974 talk on the economic situation, and in a 1997 update that he presented before the Union of Radical Political Economists, Allen suggested that “the history of class struggle in the U.S. could be interpreted as a five-stage cycle in which:

1) The normal course of capitalist events brings on a deterioration of the conditions of the laboring classes.
2) The substance of the white-skin privileges becomes somewhat drained away by increased insecurity and exploitation.
3) The laboring-class “whites” manifest, to a greater or lesser extent, a tendency to make common cause with laboring-class Blacks against capital.
4) The ruling class moves to re-substantiate the racial privileges of the white workers vis-à-vis the Blacks.
5) The white workers take the bait, repudiate solidarity with Black laboring people and submit themselves without radical protest to exploitation by the privilege-givers.”

Allen emphasized the crucial importance of anti-white supremacist, working class struggle at all stages, but particularly between phases 3 and 5. For Allen, this was an especially key period to challenge the re-substantiation of “white race” privileges and to heighten anti-white supremacist struggle.

For more on Allen’s discussion of the 5-stage cycle and the fullest IN-DEPTH TREATMENT of his forty-plus years of writings on “white skin privilege” and class struggle see “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 in PDF format at the TOP LEFT Here
or at “Cultural Logic” HERE
For writings by and about Theodore W. Allen see HERE

For a video of a slide presentation/talk on Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of the White Race” see HERE

For information on “The Invention of the White Race” Vol. II: "The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo America" (including comments from scholars and activists and Table of Contents) see HERE

For information on “The Invention of the White Race” Vol. I: “Racial Oppression and Social Control" (including comments from scholars and activists and Table of Contents) see HERE

For information on Theodore W. Allen’s “Summary of the Argument of The Invention of the White Race” Part 1 see HERE and for Part 2 see HERE

For a video of a Slide Presentation/Talk on Hubert Harrison see HERE

For comments from scholars and activists on "Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918" (Columbia University Press) see HERE

For articles, audios, and videos by and about Hubert Harrison see HERE

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“Theodore W. Allen on “whiteness”


In a 2004 interview, Theodore W. Allen, who put the word "white" in quotes, explained why he shied away from the term --

"it's an abstract noun, it's an abstraction, it's an attribute of some people, it's not the role they play. And the white race is an actual objective thing. It's not anthropologic, it's a historically developed identity of European Americans and Anglo-Americans and so it has to be dealt with. It functions . . . in this history of ours and it has to be recognized as such . . . to slough it off under the heading of 'whiteness,' to me seems to get away from the basic white race identity problem."

For more on this topic see p. 78 n. 187 of “The Developing Conjuncture and Some Insights From Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen on the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy,” which is available in PDF format at the top left HERE

For more on Allen’s precision with words (including “whiteness”) see this video of a slide presentation/talk on Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of White Race”
HERE at minutes 36:49 to 39:10

For a Counterpunch article on "The Invention of the White Race" by Theodore W. Allen (2 vols., Verso Books), new expanded edition with internal study guides, Vol. 1: "Racial Oppression and Social Control" and Vol. 2: "The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America" CLICK HERE

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Theodore W. Allen on use of the word “Origin” in the subtitle of “The Invention of the White Race” Vol. 2: "The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America"


In 1997 Theodore W. Allen commented on his use of “Origin” in the sub-title of “The Invention of the White Race” Vol. 2: "The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America."

He wrote: “Here is an instance where less is more. ‘Origin’ has the desired specificity, as in Darwin's title “The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection,” and Engels' “The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State.” In choosing this sub-title, I meant it to be consistent with the argument of the book, which shows class struggle to have been the origin of racial oppression, rather than ascribing racial oppression to ‘natural’ and/or pre-American ‘prejudices’ as proposed by Carl Degler and Winthrop Jordan, for example.”

For information on “The Invention of the White Race” Vol. 2: "The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America" HERE

For a video of a slide presentation/talk on Theodore W. Allen’s “The Invention of White Race” CLICK HERE

For an in-depth treatment of the development of Allen’s work see “The Developing Conjuncture and Some Insights From Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen on the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy” at the top left CLICK HERE

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Hubert Harrison founded the first organization and the first newspaper of the militant “New Negro Movement” in 1917 (years before Alain Locke’s “New Negro”)



Anyone reading about, discussing, or teaching “The New Negro” is encouraged to include in that effort the new, Diasporic Africa Press expanded edition of Hubert H. Harrison's “When Africa Awakes: The 'Inside Story’ of the Stirrings and Strivings of the New Negro in the Western World.”
Hubert Harrison founded the first organization and the first newspaper of the militant “New Negro Movement” in 1917 (years before Alain Locke’s “New Negro” publication) and this book includes over 50 Harrison articles (with introductions and notes) covering the period from 1917 into 1920 (when he edited Marcus Garvey’s “Negro World"). See HERE

You can also see the book at the Diasporic Africa Press website HERE

See the E-book HERE

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