A Hubert Harrison Reader

raceandhistory.com Home

Critical writings by the “father of Harlem radicalism”

June 6, 2001
Edited by Jeffrey B. Perry

A Hubert Harrison Reader The St. Croix, Virgin Islands-born Hubert Harrison (1883–1927), known as “the father of Harlem radicalism,” was a brilliant writer, orator, educator, critic, and political activist in New York in the 1910s and 1920s. Historian J. A. Rogers, in World’s Great Men of Color, refers to Harrison as “the foremost Afro-American intellect of his time” and (amid chapters on Booker T. Washington, William Monroe Trotter, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Marcus Garvey) emphasizes that “none of the Afro-American leaders of his time had a saner and more effective program.” During the 1910s and 1920s Harrison was a major influence on A. Philip Randolph, Garvey, and a generation of activists and “common people.” The newspapers that he edited—The Voice, The New Negro, The Negro World, and The Voice of the Negro--were both political and literary and were noted for their “Poetry for the People” and book and theater reviews. Harrison is one of the truly important, yet neglected, figures of early twentieth-century America.

This individually introduced and annotated collection of one hundred thirty-eight articles offers a comprehensive presentation of Harrison writings on class and race consciousness, the labor movement, socialism, the New Negro Movement, religion, education, politics, Black leaders and leadership, international events, Caribbean topics, the Virgin Islands, literature and literary criticism, and the Black theater.

Historian Ernest Allen, Jr., of the W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, emphasizes that “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.”

For an excerpt from the Introduction go to http://www.dartmouth.edu/acad-inst/upne/harrisonex.html

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

Wesleyan University Press
505 pp., 4 illus., 7 x 10”
Cloth, 0-8195-6469-9. $ 70.00
Paper, 0-8195-6470-2. $ 24.95
Publication Date: June 5, 2001

Order Toll-Free: 1-800-421-1561

Homepage / Back to Historical Views