A Hubert Harrison Reader / Edition 1

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The brilliant writer, orator, educator, critic, and activist Hubert Harrison (1883 - 1927) is one of the truly important, yet neglected, figures of early twentieth-century America. Known as "the father of Harlem radicalism,' and a leading Socialist party speaker who advocated that socialists champion the cause of the Negro as a revolutionary doctrine, Harrison had an important influence on a generation of race and class radicals, including Marcus Garvey and A. Philip Randolph.

Harrison envisioned a socialism that had special appeal to African-Americans, and he affirmed the duty of socialists to oppose race-based oppression. Despite high praise from his contemporaries, Harrison's legacy has largely been neglected. This reader redresses the imbalance; Harrison's essays, editorials, reviews, letters, and diary entries offer a profound, and often unique, analysis of issues, events and individuals of early twentieth-century America. His writings also provide critical insights and counterpoints to the thinking of W. E. B. DuBois, Booker T. Washington and Marcus Garvey.

The reader is organized thematically to highlight Harrison's contributions to the debates on race, class, culture, and politics of his time. The writings span Harrison's career and the evolution of his thought, and include extensive political writings, editorials, meditations, reviews of theater and poetry, and deeply evocative social commentary.

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What People Are Saying

Ernest Allen
"With publication of this volume it will be possible to trace the evolution of Harrison's thought for the first time ever. The appearance of Harrison's writings will most certainly not only fill a gap in our understanding of black radical and nationalist writings around the World War I period and beyond, but will also, I suspect, change the way in which we tend to look at black thought generally in this period."
Ernest Allen, Jr., W.E.B. DuBois Department of Afro-American Studies, UMass at Amherst
Ernest Allen
"With publication of this volume it will be possible to trace the evolution of Harrison's thought for the first time ever. The appearance of Harrison's writings will most certainly not only fill a gap in our understanding of black radical and nationalist writings around the World War I period and beyond, but will also, I suspect, change the way in which we tend to look at black thought generally in this period."
Manning Marable
"Hubert Harrison was one of the most gifted and creative intellectuals in the American Left and within black America in the twentieth century. Jeffrey B. Perry's book presents a comprehensive analysis of the first phase of Harrison's remarkable public career. Before Marcus Garvey came to Harlem in 1916, Harrison had blazed the trail as the leading voice of black radicalism. He founded the New Negro Movement and was a central antiwar leader during WWI. Perry captures Harrison's brilliance, energy, and leadership during a remarkable period in African-American history. The outstanding scholarship of his study will reawaken popular interest in this remarkable figure."--(Manning Marable, professor of public affairs, history, and African American studies, and director, Center for Contemporary Black History, Columbia University)
Cornel West
"Hubert Harrison is the most significant black democratic socialist of early twentieth-century America. Jeffrey B. Perry has brought his thought and practice to life in a powerful and persuasive manner."--(Cornel West, Princeton University)
Arnold Rampersad
"This is a superb study of a neglected but powerfully influential figure in African-American history. As far as I can judge, Jeffrey B. Perry's scholarship is formidable, his documentation impeccable, his writing lucid and graceful. If his promised second volume is as admirable and compelling as his first, then we would have to count him, with gratitude, among the finest living biographers of black men and women-indeed, one of our finest biographers, without reservation."--(Arnold Rampersad, professor of English and the Sara Hart Kimball Professor in the Humanities, Stanford University)
Amiri Baraka
"Jeffrey B. Perry's Hubert Harrison breaks open long-sealed tomes of information about the militant aspect of the Harlem Renaissance."
David Roediger
"In rescuing a very particular hero and genius from what E. P. Thompson once called the 'enormous condescension of posterity,' this monumental and acute biography becomes the best point of entry into the whole history of modern radicalism in the United States."--(David Roediger, University of Illinois, and the author of How Race Survived U.S. History)
Winston James
"Hubert Harrison is a historic work of scholarship. It is also an act of restitution- belated but generous-for the crime of historical neglect. For as Jeffrey B. Perry makes abundantly clear, Hubert Harrison's contemporaries, from the Harlem radicals of the 1920s (most notably Claude McKay and A. Philip Randolph), to Henry Miller, Eugene O'Neill, and Charlie Chaplin, recognized Harrison's genius and enormous contribution in a variety of fields, yet eighty years after his death he has not been honored with a biography. Perry's effort to make good this lack is a stupendous success. His book is exhaustively researched, richly detailed, beautifully written in a spare and restrained style, and succeeds in capturing the brilliance, wit, and astonishing political and intellectual courage of Harrison. It is a fine and magisterial portrait."--(Winston James, professor of history, University of California, Irvine)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780819564702
  • Publisher: Wesleyan University Press
  • Publication date: 6/5/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 506
  • Sales rank: 1,133,430
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 4.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeffrey B. Perry is an independent scholar and author of the first critical biography of Harrison.

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Table of Contents

Brief Chronology of the Life of Hubert Harrison
Abbreviations Used
A Note on Usage
A Developing Worldview and Beginning Social Activism
A Product of Black Working-Class Intellectual Circles In New York
1. A Negro On Chicken Stealing
2. Pledge to the Mother Race from an Untamed African
3. Plan to Write a “History of the Negro in America”
Free thought
4. Letter to Mrs. Frances Reynolds Keyser
5. Paine’s Place in the Deistical Movement
6. The Negro a Conservative
The Press
7. The Negro and the Newspapers
Class Radicalism
8. The Negro and Socialism: I – The Negro Problem Stated
9. Race Prejudice – II
10. The Duty of the Socialist Party
11. How to Do It – And How Not
12. The Black Man’s Burden (I)
13. The Black Man’s Burden (II)
14. Socialism and the Negro
15 Southern Socialists and the Ku Klux Klan
The Labor Movement
16. The Negro and the Labor Unions
17. The Negro in Industry, review of The Great Steel Strike and Its Lessons by William Z. Foster
Race Radicalism
The Liberty League and The Voice
18 The Liberty League of Negro Americans: How It Came to Be
19. Resolutions [Passed at the Liberty League Meeting]
20. Declaration of Principles [of the Liberty League]
21. The Liberty League’s Petition to the House of Representatives of the United States, July 4, 1917
East St. Louis, Houston and Armed Self-Defense
22. The East St. Louis Horror
23. Houston Vs. Waco
The New Negro
24. As the Currents Flow
25. Our Larger Duty
26. The Need for it [and the Nature of It]
27. Two Negro Radicalisms
28. The Women of Our Race
29. In The Melting Pot (re Herodotus)
The Negro World
30. Race First versus Class First
31. Just Crabs
32. Patronize Your Own
33. An Open Letter to the Socialist Party of New York City
The Boston Chronicle and the Voice of the Negro
34. Race Consciousness
35. Negro Culture and the Negro College
36. Education and the Race
37. English as She Is Spoke
38. Education out of School
39. Read! Read! Read!
Lincoln and Liberty
40. Lincoln and Liberty: Fact Versus Fiction; Chapter Two
41. Lincoln and Liberty: Fact Versus Fiction; Chapter Three
“New Negro” Politics
42. The Drift In Politics
43. The New Policies for the New Negro
44. The Coming Election
45. Our Professional “Friends”
Politics in the 1920s
46. A Negro for President
47. U-Need-a-Biscuit
48. The Grand Old Party
49. When the Tail Wags the Dog
50. Our Political Power
51. The Black Tide Turns in Politics
Leaders and Leadership
On Booker T. Washington
52. Insistence upon Its Real Grievances the Only Course for the Race
The Liberty Congress and W. E. B. DuBois
53. The Liberty Congress
54. The Descent of Dr. DuBois
55. When the Blind Lead
Problems of Leadership
56. To The Young Men of My Race
57. Shillady Resigns
58. A Tender Point
59. Our White Friends
Time as Editor of the Negro World and Comments on Marcus Garvey
60. Connections with the Garvey Movement
61. On Garvey’s Character and Abilities
62. The UNIA Convention
63. Convention Bill Of Rights and Elections
64. Marcus Garvey at the Bar of United States Justice
65. The Negro American Speaks
Anti-imperialism and Internationalism
The Great War
66. The White War and the Colored World
The White War and the Colored Races
The Paris Peace Congress
68. The Negro at the Peace Congress
69. Africa at the Peace Table
70. Britain In India
71. When Might Makes Right
72. The Line-Up on the Color Line
73. On “Civilizing Africa”
74. Imperialist America, review of The American Empire by Scott Nearing
75. Wanted- A Colored International
Disarmament and the Washington Conference
76. The Washington Conference
77. Disarmament and the Darker Races
The Caribbean
78. Help Wanted for Hayti
79. The Cracker in the Caribbean
80. Hands across the Sea
The Virgin Islands
81. A St. Croix Creole, letter to the Evening Post
82. The Virgin Islands: A Colonial Problem
Caribbean Peoples in the United States
83. Prejudice Growing Less and Co-operation More
84. Hubert Harrison Answers Malliet
85. Goodwill Towards Men
86. Meditation: “Heroes and Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in Human History”
87. The Meditations of Mustapha: A Soul in Search of Itself
88. On Praise
Lynching, the Klan, “Race Relations,” and “Democracy in America”
89. A Cure for the Ku Klux
90. Ku Klux Klan in the Past
91. How to End Lynching
92. The Negro and the Census
93. Bridging the Gulf of Color
94. At the Back of the Black Man’s Mind
95. “Democracy” in America
96. The Negro and the Nation
Literary Criticism, Book Reviews, and Book Reviewing
97. Views of Readers on Criticism: Mr. H.H. Harrison Reiterates His Theories
98. On a Certain Condescension in White Publishers [Part I]
99. On a Certain Condescension in White Publishers (Concluded)
100. Review of Term of Peace and the Darker Races by A. Philip Randolph and Chandler Owen
101. The Negro in History and Civilization, review of From Superman to Man by J.A. Rogers
102. White People versus Negroes: Being the Story of a Great Book (from Superman to Man by J.A Rogers
103. Review of The Rising Tide of Color Against White World-Supremacy by Lothrop Stoddard
104. The Rising Tide of Color
105. The Brown Man Leads The Way, Part I, review of The New World of Islam by Lothrop Stoddard
106. The Brown Man Leads The Way, Part I, review of The New World of Islam by Lothrop Stoddard (concluding part)
107. Review of Darkwater by W.E.B. Du Bois
108. Review of The Negro Year Book, 1918-1919 edited by Monroe N. Work
109. The Superscientist, review of The Place of Science in Modern Civilization and Other Essays by Thorstein Veblen
110. The Black Man’s Burden, {review of The Black Man’s Burden by E.D. Morel}
111. The Caucasian Canker in South Africa, review of The Real South Africa by Ambrose Pratt
112. M. Maran’s Batouala
113. The Southern Black- As Seen by the Eye of Fiction, review of Highly Colored by Octavus Roy Cohen
114. The Real Negro Humor
115. Negro Church history: A Book of It Badly Marred by Neglect of the Race Foundation, review of The History of the Negro Church by Carter G. Woodson
116. Negro’s Part in History, review of The Negro in Our History by Carter G. Woodson
117. Homo Africanus Harlemi, review of Nigger Heaven by Carl Van Vechten
118. Nigger Heaven A Review of the Reviewers
119. No Negro Literary Renaissance
120. Cabaret School of Negro Literature and Art
121. Harlem’s Neglected Opportunities
122. Review of The Story of Mankind by Hendrik Van Loon
123. Satyricon of Petronius, letter to the New York Times
124. On Reading Negro Books
125. Hayti Finds a Friend: Black Hayti: A Biography of Africa’s Eldest Daughter.
Theater Reviews
126. Negro Society and the Negro Stage, Preamble
127. Negro Society and the Negro Stage, Part 2
128. Canary Cottage: A Dramatic Opinion
129. The Emperor Jones
130. The Negro Actor on Broadway: A critical Interpretation by a Negro Critic
Poets and Poetry
131. The Black Man’s Burden ( a reply to Rudyard Kipling)
132. Another Negro Poet
133. Poetry of Claude McKay
134. Black Bards of Yesterday and Today, review of The Book of American Negro Poetry, selected and edited by James Weldom Johnson
The International Colored Unity League and the Way Forward
135. Program and Principles of the International Colored Unity League
136. The Right Way to Unity
137. The Common People
138. The Roots of Power

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2001

    Book on Important figure in American Radical Politics

    Jeff Perry's new book on Hubert Harrison's writings and speeches is a timely addition to the scholarship on early Black radicals and on the Harlem Renaissance period. Although Harrison was widely known and exercised a great deal of influence on political leaders such as A.Philip Randolph, Chandler Owen, and Marcus Garvey, few of his writings and speeches have been included in traditional overviews of Black politics of the period. Perry's book presents the broad range of Harrison's influence, detailing his work in literary criticism, theatre, philosophy, as well as his work with race and class politics. Moreover, Perry's introductory essays are encyclopedic in their own right. Anyone who has an interest in the history of Black politics, the Harlem renaissance period, or in early American radical politics must read this book.

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