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Jeffrey B. Perry Blog

Epigraph (Part 2 of 4) From "The Developing Conjuncture and Insights from Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen on the Centrality of Struggle Against White Supremacy" by Jeffrey B. Perry

"The ten million Negroes of America form a group that is more essentially proletarian than any other American group . . . and the Negro was . . . [under slavery] the most thoroughly exploited of the American proletariat, . . . the most thoroughly despised."
Hubert Harrison, "Socialism and the Negro," "International Socialist Review," 1912


"The South, after the [Civil] war, presented the greatest opportunity for a real national labor movement which the nation ever saw or is likely to see for many decades. Yet the [white] labor movement, with but few exceptions, never realized the situation. It never had the intelligence or knowledge, as a whole, to see in black slavery and Reconstruction, the kernel and the meaning of the labor movement in the United States."
W.E.B. Du Bois, "Black Reconstruction," 1935


"Given this understanding of slavery in Anglo-America as capitalism, and of the slaveholders as capitalists, it follows that the chattel bond-laborers were proletarians. Accordingly, the study of class consciousness as a sense the American workers have of their own class interests, must start with recognition of that fact."
Theodore W. Allen, "On Roediger's The Wages of Whiteness," 2001

"Politically, the Negro is the touchstone of the modern democratic idea. The presence of the Negro puts our democracy to the test and reveals the falsity of it . . . [True democracy and equality implies] a revolution . . . startling to even think of."
Hubert Harrison, "The Negro and Socialism," 1911


"The most vulnerable point at which a decisive blow can be struck against bourgeois rule in the United States is white supremacy. White supremacy is both the keystone and the Achilles heel of U.S. bourgeois democracy, the historic font of bourgeois rule in the United States."
Theodore W. Allen. "The Most Vulnerable Point," 1972


". . . the mission of the Socialist Party is to free the working class from exploitation, and . . . the duty of the party to champion . . . [the Negro's] cause is as clear as day. This is the crucial test of Socialism's sincerity."
Hubert Harrison, "Socialism and the Negro," "International Socialist Review," 1912
"The Negro problem, then, is the great test of the American socialists."
W.E.B. Du Bois, "Socialism and the Negro Problem," "The New Review," 1913


". . . your official documents [show] that the white men of your [Socialist] party officially put [the white] 'race first' rather than 'class first.'"
Hubert Harrison "An Open Letter to the Socialist Party of New York City," "Negro World," 1920

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