Hubert Harrison assumed the managing editor position at the "Negro World" (the paper of Marcus Garvey's Universal Negro Improvement Association) in early January 1920 (102 years ago). He not only transformed the paper through his editing efforts; he also did so with his own editorials and articles. Throughout the period leading up to the August 1920 UNIA Convention he sought to develop race consciousness among the African American masses and to point the way forward with a militant, "Negro"-led, direction in the struggle for liberty and equality. The themes he treated and subjects he covered -- the leadership question, international and domestic issues, education, poetry, and book and theatre reviews were wide-ranging. His voluminous writings in this short period were remarkable and offer an important look at the radical, race-conscious message that he offered. This is discussed in "Hubert Harrison: The Struggle for Equality, 1918-1927" (Columbia University Press) by Jeffrey B. Perry.
Jeffrey B. Perry Blog
A striking, three-minute, 1969 video presentation is of Ray Richardson (1946-1971), grandson of Hubert Harrison and producer of "Say Brother" for Public Station WGBH TV (Boston) in 1968-1970 and be found HERE
On August 25, 2020 (August 27 in the print edition), the "New York Times" ran an article entitled "'Soul!' Brought Black Culture to TV in 1968. A New Doc Tells Its Story," which discusses the New York public education tv show "Soul" that began on September 12, 1968 (after the April 4, 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.). [The article is entitled "Black Culture Front and Center Back in the Day" in the print edition.]
Earlier that year (on July 18, 1968) Boston Public Television station WGBH began airing "Say Brother" an extraordinary hour-long show that, would air prime time (and be repeated later on the weekend). It would be produced and directed by Ray Richardson and directed by Stan Lathan. Richardson was the grandson of Hubert Harrison and he and Vashti Lowns would die under suspicious conditions in 1971 after the show was taken off the air and Richardson was fired in July 1970 in the wake of the show's coverage of New Bedford, Massachusetts protests.
For background on Ray Richardson and "Say Brother" see "The Radicalization of Ray Richardson: Suspicion Still Surround Death of Black Activist TV Producer," which I co-authored in 2013 along with Charles Richardson (Harrison's grandson and Ray Richardson's brother). See HERE and see HERE
To see "'Soul!' Brought Black Culture to TV in 1968. A New Doc Tells Its Story" online see HERE
Some addiional Links to TV Segments from "Say Brother" involving producer Ray Richardson can be found HERE
For more information on Ray Richardson see "Say Brother: The Radicalization of Ray Richardson, Black Activist TV Producer" by Jeffrey B. Perry and Charles Richardson -- HERE
Harlem World posting “On The 94th Anniversary Of The Death Of Harlem’s Hubert Harrison” (includes links to 13 “Harlem World” articles on Harrison)
Harlem World posting "On The 94th Anniversary Of The Death Of Harlem's Hubert Harrison" (includes links to 13 "Harlem World" articles on Harrison) see HERE
Columbia University Press Blog from Columbia University Rare Book and Manuscipt Library on Anniversary of Death of Hubert Harrison
Columbia University Press Blog from Columbia University Rare Book and Manuscipt Library on Anniversary of Death of Hubert Harrison HERE
From July 8 to September 9, 1926, Hubert Harrison delivered a special ten-week seminar course on The ISS' eleven-member executive council included: Willis N. Huggins, chairman; Williana Burroughs, secretary; E. Elliot Rawlins, treasurer; Richard B. Moore, director; and Louise Jackson, Mabel Byrd, F. Eugene Corbie, Peter D. Codrington, N. E. White, Grace P. Campbell, and Harrison. Discussion of this course can be found in Jeffrey B. Perry, "Hubert Harrison: The Struggle for Equality, 1918-1926" (Columbia University Press). See HERE
104 Years Ago Hubert Harrison founded the "Liberty League," the first organization of the militant "New Negro Movement"
On June 12, 1917 (104 years ago), 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, also 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."
December 17, 2020, marks the 93rd anniversary of the death of Hubert Harrison in Bellevue Hospital in 1927 at age 44. – Please help to spread the word about his important life and work.
St. Croix-born, Harlem-based 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 "perhaps the foremost Aframerican intellect of his time." Labor and civil rights leader A. Philip Randolph described Harrison as "the father of Harlem Radicalism." Harrison's friend and pallbearer, Arthur Schomburg, fully aware of his popularity, eulogized to the thousands attending Harrison's Harlem funeral that he was also "ahead of his time."
Born in St. Croix, Danish West Indies, in 1883, to a Bajan mother and a Crucian father, Harrison arrived in New York as a seventeen-year-old orphan in 1900. He made his mark in the United States by struggling against class and racial oppression, by helping to create a remarkably rich and vibrant intellectual life among African Americans, and by working for the enlightened development of the lives of "the common people." He consistently emphasized the need for working class people to develop class-consciousness; for "Negroes" to develop race consciousness, self-reliance, and self-respect; and for all those he reached to challenge white supremacy and develop modern, scientific, critical, and independent thought as a means toward liberation.
A self-described "radical internationalist," Harrison was extremely well-versed in history and events in Africa, Asia, the Mideast, the Americas, and Europe. More than any other political leader of his era, he combined class-consciousness and anti-white supremacist race consciousness in a coherent political radicalism. He opposed capitalism and maintained that white supremacy was central to capitalist rule in the United States. He emphasized that "politically, the Negro is the touchstone of the modern democratic idea"; that "as long as the Color Line exists, all the perfumed protestations of Democracy on the part of the white race" were "downright lying," that "the cant of 'Democracy'" was "intended as dust in the eyes of white voters," and that true democracy and equality for "Negroes" implied "a revolution . . . startling even to think of."
Working from this theoretical framework, he was active with a wide variety of movements and organizations and played signal roles in the development of what were, up to that time, the largest class radical movement (socialism) and the largest race radical movement (the "New Negro"/Garvey movement) in U.S. history. His ideas on the centrality of the struggle against white supremacy anticipated the profound transformative power of the Civil Rights/Black Liberation struggles of the 1960s and his thoughts on "democracy in America" offer penetrating insights on the limitations and potential of America in the twenty-first century.
Harrison served as the foremost Black organizer, agitator, and theoretician in the Socialist Party of New York during its 1912 heyday; founded the first organization (the Liberty League) and the first newspaper ("The Voice") of the militant, World War I-era "New Negro" movement; edited "The New Negro" monthly in 1919; served as the managing editor of the "Negro World" and principal radical influence on the Garvey movement during its radical high point in 1920; authored "When Africa Awakes: The 'Inside Story' of the Stirrings and Strivings of the New Negro in the Western World" (1920); was a regular lecturer for the New York City Board of Education (1923-1926); wrote a regular column for the "Boston Chronicle" (1924)' and edited the International Colored Unity League's "Voice of the Negro) (1927).
His views on race and class profoundly influenced a generation of "New Negro" militants and "common people" including the class radical A. Philip Randolph and the race radical Marcus Garvey. Considered more race conscious than Randolph and more class conscious than Garvey, Harrison is a key ideological link in the two great strands of the Black Liberation Movement -- the labor and civil rights strand associated with Martin Luther King, Jr., and the race and nationalist strand associated with Malcolm X. (Randolph and Garvey were, respectively, the direct links to King marching on Washington, with Randolph at his side, and to Malcolm, whose parents were involved with the Garvey movement, speaking militantly and proudly on street corners in Harlem.)
Harrison was not only a political radical, however. J. A. Rogers described him as an "Intellectual Giant and Free-Lance Educator," whose contributions were wide-ranging, innovative, and influential. He was an immensely skilled and popular orator and educator who spoke and/or read six languages to varying degrees; a highly praised journalist, critic, and book reviewer (reportedly the first regular book reviewer in "Negro newspaperdom"); a pioneer Black activist in the freethought and birth control movements; and a bibliophile and library builder and popularizer who helped develop the 135th Street Public Library into what became known as the internationally famous Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. His two-volume biography offers profound insights on race, class, religion, immigration, war, democracy, and social change in America.
The recently completed two-volume biography of Hubert Harrison is believed to be the first, full-length, multi-volume biography of an Afro-Caribbean and only the fourth of an Afro-American after those of Booker T. Washington, W. E. B. DuBois, and Langston Hughes.
For writings by and about Hubert Harrison see HERE
Jeffrey B. Perry
In the accompanying photo are some major items that I have authored or edited. They include:
Jeffrey Babcock Perry, "Hubert Henry Harrison: The Father of Harlem Radicalism: The Early Years—1883--Through the Founding of The Liberty League and 'The Voice" in 1917," Columbia University Ph. D Dissertation (1986), 834 pp., reprinted by UPI Dissertation Services 1999.
"A Hubert Harrison Reader," edited with Introductions and Notes by Jeffrey B. Perry, (Wesleyan University Press, 2001), 503 pp.
Jeffrey B. Perry, "Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918" (Columbia University Press, 2008), 623 pp.
Theodore W. Allen, "The Invention of the White Race," Vol. 1 "Racial Oppression and Social Control," Edited with a New Introduction, Appendices, and Notes by Jeffrey B. Perry, (1994; Verso Books, 2012), 371 pp.
Theodore W. Allen, "The Invention of the White Race," Vol. 2 "The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America," Edited with a New Introduction, Appendices, and Notes by Jeffrey B. Perry, (1994; Verso Books, 2012), 371 pp.
Hubert Harrison, "When Africa Awakes: The 'Inside Story' of the Stirrings and Strivings of The New Negro in the Western World" (1920), reprinted with New Introductions and Notes by Jeffrey B. Perry (Diasporic Africa Press, 2015), 272 pp.
Jeffrey B. Perry, "Hubert Harrison: The Struggle for Equality, 1918-1927" (Columbia University Press, 2020), 1000 pp.
Note: The first volume was completed when I was the elected-head of the National Postal Mail Handlers Union at the 4,000 worker Bulk Mail Center in Jersey City, New Jersey, and involved, with others, in important labor organizing focusing on the centrality of struggle against white supremacy to efforts at progressive social change.
"Hubert Harrison: The Struggle for Equality, 1918-1927" by Jeffrey B. Perry (Columbia University Press)
"Hubert Harrison: The Struggle for Equality, 1918-1927" by
Jeffrey B. Perry ("Columbia Alumni Association") See HERE
Hubert H. Harrison Papers (including Hubert Harrison's Diary) at Columbia Digital Library Collections Online
Hubert H. Harrison Papers (including Hubert Harrison's Diary) at Columbia Digital Library Collections Online
"Hubert Harrison's wisdom on race, war, and equality" by Jeffrey B. Perry
Christian Century, April 2016. See HERE
“Hubert Harrison: The Struggle for Equality, 1918-1927” (Columbia University Press) by Jeffrey B. Perry is Now Being Shipped!
"Hubert Harrison: The Struggle for Equality, 1918-1927" (Columbia University Press) by Jeffrey B. Perry is now (in November 2020) being shipped by the Ingram Book Publishing Company.
Copies of the book can be ordered at 20% discount from Columbia University Press by using code "CUP20". Order it HERE
To order volume 1 – "Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1927" at 20% discount using code "CUP20" click HERE
For information on Hubert Harrison see HERE
"Hubert Harrison: The Struggle for Equality, 1918-1927" (Columbia University Press) by Jeffrey B. Perry from Columbia Alumni Bookshelf
Special 38% off sale on "Hubert Harrison: The Struggle for Equality, 1918-1927" for $24.99 from Barnes and Noble for Nook Book (E Book) available for pre-order (available on 12/22/20) See HERE
This volume is also available at 22% off from Google Play at $31.99 for Web, Tablet, Phone, and eReader (publication listed as 12/22/20). See HERE
It is also available (on December 8) in hardcover, paperback, and E-book at 20% off from Columbia University Press (use coupon code "CUP20") See HERE
You will not be billed until book is released to you.
Please share this information. Great gift idea for family and friends.
"Hubert Harrison: The Struggle for Equality, 1918-1927" Initial Blurbs from Brent Hayes Edwards, Herb Boyd, Charisse Burden-Stelly, Brian Jones, and Wilson J. Moses
The first blurbs for the forthcoming "Hubert Harrison: The Struggle for Equality, 1918-1927" (volume 2 of the Hubert Harrison biography) can be found HERE
Among the early blurb offerings are those from Brent Hayes Edwards, Herb Boyd, Charisse Burden-Stelly, Brian Jones, and Wilson J. Moses.
Each of the two volumes of the biography can be obtained from Columbia University Press at 20% off by using Code "CUP20" (you will not be charged for the second volume until it is shipped) — see
"Hubert Harrison: The Struggle for Equality, 1918-1927" HERE and see
"Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918" HERE
Starts Tonight -- October 7 -- "Hubert Harrison, Theodore W. Allen & the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy"
4-SESSION CLASS BEGINS Thursday, October 7, 2010, 7:30 - 9:30 PM
Classes on October 7, 14, 21, 28
451 West St. (between Bank and Bethune Sts.), New York, NY, 10014
Hubert Harrison, Theodore W. Allen & the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy
with Jeffrey B. Perry
This course Read More