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Jeffrey B. Perry Blog

Harrison's seminal article "Socialism and the Negro" in the July 1912 "International Socialist Review"

110 Years ago – in the July 1912 "International Socialist Review," appeared Hubert Harrison's seminal article "Socialism and the Negro."
Harrison's article described "the Negro" as "a group that is more essentially proletarian than any other American group" and urged, since "the Negro" was the "most ruthlessly exploited working class group in America, that the duty of the party to champion his cause" was "as clear as day."
To Harrison this was "the crucial test of Socialism's sincerity."
For the majority in the party the key political debates concerned positions on revolutionary vs. evolutionary socialism and revolutionary unionism vs. AFL craft unionism. Harrison proposed a new litmus test, a new "crucial test," for U.S. socialists — "to champion" the cause of the "Negro." He thought this was the key to revolutionary change strategy.

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