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Jeffrey B. Perry Blog

Readers Comments on "Hubert Harrison: The Struggle for Equality, 1918-1927" (Columbia University Press, December, 2020)

This long-awaited final volume guides us through the last decade of Harrison's life, when he played a major role in the political upheavals and cultural transformations that shaped Harlem in the wake of the First World War. Thanks to Perry's definitive portrait, it will no longer be possible to overlook the fierce and flinty polymath who was arguably the most brilliant Black radical intellectual of his generation.
Brent Hayes Edwards, author of The Practice of Diaspora: Literature, Translation, and the Rise of Black Internationalism


Jeffrey B. Perry's much-anticipated second volume on Hubert Harrison forces scholars to rethink the history of the Black radical tradition, the New Negro movement, and African American social movements. Through this magnificent exploration of Harrison's life, Perry establishes Harrison's centrality to early twentieth-century Black nationalist, pan-African, and socialist thought.
Ousmane Power-Greene, author of Against Wind and Tide: The African American Struggle Against the Colonization Movement


This book offers an unparalleled explication of Harrison's courageous journalism, perspicacious theoretical writings, electric oratory, wide-ranging political activity, persistent organization building, expansive mentorship and influence, and radical commitment to Black and working-class liberation. Equal in rigor, insight, and erudition to the first volume, this book completes the biography that the father of Harlem radicalism demands and deserves.
Charisse Burden-Stelly, coauthor of W. E. B. Du Bois: A Life in American History


Perry's magnificent achievement reaffirms that the life and work of Hubert Harrison stood at the center of the New Negro movement, the Harlem Renaissance, and American life and thought in general. This excellent book should broaden the prevailing conceptions of the history of ideas, sociology of knowledge, and intellectual history. Anyone who peruses this biography will experience a revelation, with respect to content, interpretation, and methods, and an epiphany respecting the professional ethos.
Wilson J. Moses, author of Thomas Jefferson: A Modern Prometheus


The brilliant radical educator and activist Hubert Harrison has found in Jeffrey B. Perry a meticulous and indefatigable champion. Perry serves as both a perceptive guide to Harrison's immense literary output and as Harrison's partner in setting the historical record straight. For scholars who want to understand this once-hidden parent of Harlem radicalism, Perry's work is the essential starting point.
Brian Jones, author of The Tuskegee Student Revolt: Black Power on Booker T. Washington's Campus


Hubert Harrison was a profoundly prolific writer and activist with a bottomless reservoir of insight. Perry, in this second volume, continues his deep dive into Harrison's work, surfacing with fresh illumination of his legacy. J. A. Rogers said Harrison worked tirelessly to enlighten others, and those words characterize Perry's pursuit.
Herb Boyd, author of Baldwin's Harlem: A Biography of James Baldwin


Hubert Harrison is one of those historical transformative figures who demands full revelation. Perry's meticulous scholarship continues that process from which future studies can only benefit.
Carole Boyce Davies, author of Left of Karl Marx: The Political Life of Black Communist Claudia Jones


Perry's book symbolically captures the heavy weight of history. His close and meticulous examination of Harrison's life sheds light on this 'renaissance man,' restoring Harrison's career and removing it from the shadow of Marcus Garvey's legacy. Perry lifts the veil off the face of history and documents the genius of a man.
E. Ethelbert Miller, author of If God Invented Baseball: Poems


Reading When Africa Awakes as an undergrad introduced me to Hubert Harrison. I have remained an ardent fan of Harrison since, motivated by his insistence, in When Africa Awakes, we should study Africa and Africans because they have much to teach us. Jeffrey B. Perry's two-volume biography of this activist-intellectual and polyglot rewards, and even exceeds, why many of us have been so drawn to Harrison's life and work. Harrison's political and intellectual acumen made him a multiverse, skilled at numerous things, packaged into one exceptionally gifted individual, all brought to life in Perry's deeply researched and carefully-written volumes, reintroducing Harrison to a new generation who will no doubt become awestruck as I did many years ago.
Kwasi Konadu, author of Our Own Way in This Part of the World: Biography of an African Community, Culture, and Nation


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Sam Anderson (with the assistance of Karen Taylor) Interviews Jeffrey B. Perry on Hubert Harrison for "WhileWeAreStillHere" on April 11, 2021.

Sam Anderson (with the assistance of Karen Taylor) Interviews Jeffrey B. Perry on Hubert Harrison for "WhileWeAreStillHere" on April 11, 2021, See Here

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