Harlem’s Radical: Hubert Harrison

2 Posted by - September 28, 2022 - LATEST POSTS


Hubert Harrison was born in St. Croix, at that time still a territory controlled by Denmark, to a working class mother and a formerly enslaved father. Orphaned at the age of seventeen, Harrison migrated from St. Croix to the United States. While working menial jobs and largely self-taught, he quickly became one of the foremost political activists of the Harlem area. Harrison first made a name for himself acting as the leading Black organizer for the Socialist Party of America. By 1917, on the verge of the Russian Revolution, Harrison founded both the first organization and newspaper of the “New Negro” movement, a movement intended to instill dignity in the Black community and outwardly reject institutional forms of racism. As one of the foremost radical internationalists who eloquently combined class and race consciousness, Harrison was the father of Harlem radicalism. Historian Jeffrey B. Perry suggests that during the World War I era Harrison was the most class conscious of the race radicals and the most race conscious of the class radicals.

Early in his political career Harrison become an active supporter of W. E. B. Du Bois and a vocal critic of Booker T. Washington. By 1912, he campaigned heavily for Eugene V. Debs, and founded the first-ever “Colored Socialist Club.” His first theoretical essay, “The Negro and Socialism,” was published in the International Socialist Review and argued that the central responsibility of socialists ought to be challenging racism and undertaking the Black cause in the United States. Most famously, Harrison argued that politically “the Negro is the touchstone of the modern democratic idea,” meaning that real democracy was impossible without a fundamental revolution in race relations. In 1917, Harrison founded the Liberty League, a radical alternative to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), which broke with other Black leaders calling for Black participation in World War I.

After becoming disillusioned with the Socialist Party’s slow action on the issue of race, Harrison resigned in 1918. Harrison continued his intellectual endeavors in a variety of different fields, including agnosticism and empiricism. He gave incendiary soap box talks on Harlem’s streets, contributing to the radical street corner culture for which Harlem became famous. Harrison quickly developed his internationalist credentials, regularly condemning imperialism across the globe. He penned essays and spoke on events occurring in what would eventually become known as the “Third World.”

By 1920, Harrison became an editor for Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA) newspaper. But before the end of the year was out, Harrison became critical of Garvey, accusing him of opportunism and arguing that Black Americans should focus on political and economic rights in the United States, not returning to Africa. Although he eventually distanced himself from the UNIA, Harrison continued his activism amongst a variety of labor and Communist organizations throughout the 1920s.

Unfortunately for posterity, in 1927 Harrison underwent surgery at the age of 44. He died on the operating table, and thus his political and ideological development was truncated. Despite this turn of events, Harrison’s intellectual and activist contributions reverberated for generations. Historians are currently reopening the case for Harrison’s immense influence on Black political life in Harlem and elsewhere.



Jeffrey B. Perry, Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918 (New York: Columbia University Press, 2009).

Alternet, Jeffrey B. Perry, http://www.alternet.org/books/why-ideas-pioneering-african-american-radical-hubert-harrison-matter-more-ever


Photo Credit.


  • istripper crack May 15, 2019 - 4:22 am

    Found this on MSN and I’m happy I did. Well written website.

  • fortnite aimbot download May 16, 2019 - 4:01 am

    You got yourself a new follower.

  • fortnite aimbot download May 16, 2019 - 7:54 am

    I like this website its a master peace ! Glad I found this on google .

  • nonsense diamond May 16, 2019 - 10:07 pm

    Hello, bing lead me here, keep up good work.

  • fallout 76 hacks May 17, 2019 - 1:36 am

    Thank You for this.

  • Enjoyed examining this, very good stuff, thanks .

  • redline v3.0 May 17, 2019 - 9:49 am

    This does interest me

  • chaturbate hack cheat engine 2018 May 17, 2019 - 11:13 pm

    Cheers, great stuff, Me like.

  • led ryggsäck May 18, 2019 - 6:08 am

    This is interesting!

  • mining simulator codes 2019 May 18, 2019 - 10:05 pm

    I really enjoy examining on this web , it has got great article .

  • smutstone May 20, 2019 - 2:45 am

    Yeah bookmaking this wasn’t a risky decision outstanding post! .

  • redline v3.0 May 20, 2019 - 10:12 pm

    Appreciate it for this howling post, I am glad I observed this internet site on yahoo.

  • This i like. Cheers!

  • nonsense diamond May 22, 2019 - 9:13 am

    I must say, as a lot as I enjoyed reading what you had to say, I couldnt help but lose interest after a while.

  • krunker aimbot May 22, 2019 - 9:31 pm

    I must say, as a lot as I enjoyed reading what you had to say, I couldnt help but lose interest after a while.

  • bitcoin adder v.1.3.00 free download May 23, 2019 - 1:09 am

    I really got into this website. I found it to be interesting and loaded with unique points of view.

  • vn hax May 23, 2019 - 9:54 am

    I have interest in this, xexe.

  • eternity.cc v9 May 23, 2019 - 10:41 pm

    very nice post, i actually love this web site, carry on it

  • ispoofer pogo activate seriale May 24, 2019 - 9:02 am

    I am not rattling great with English but I get hold this really easygoing to read .

  • cheats for hempire game May 25, 2019 - 9:46 pm

    I conceive this web site holds some real superb information for everyone : D.

  • iobit uninstaller 7.5 key May 26, 2019 - 12:34 am

    I consider something really special in this site.

  • smart defrag 6.2 serial key May 26, 2019 - 6:54 am

    Ha, here from google, this is what i was browsing for.

  • resetter epson l1110 May 26, 2019 - 9:17 am

    Your post has proven useful to me.

  • sims 4 seasons code free May 26, 2019 - 10:34 pm

    Enjoyed reading through this, very good stuff, thankyou .

  • rust hacks May 27, 2019 - 11:12 am

    This is good. Cheers!

  • strucid hacks May 28, 2019 - 1:29 am

    I like this website its a master peace ! Glad I found this on google .

  • expressvpn key May 28, 2019 - 10:34 am

    Hi, i really think i will be back to your page

  • ispoofer key May 28, 2019 - 11:41 pm

    I’m impressed, I have to admit. Genuinely rarely should i encounter a weblog that’s both educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you may have hit the nail about the head. Your idea is outstanding; the problem is an element that insufficient persons are speaking intelligently about. I am delighted we came across this during my look for something with this.

  • aimbot free download fortnite May 29, 2019 - 3:40 am

    I conceive you have mentioned some very interesting details , appreciate it for the post.

  • redline v3.0 May 29, 2019 - 8:08 am

    I conceive this web site holds some real superb information for everyone : D.

  • vn hax May 29, 2019 - 9:18 pm

    Cheers, great stuff, Me enjoying.

  • xbox one mods free download May 31, 2019 - 3:50 am

    You got yourself a new rader.

  • fortnite aimbot download May 31, 2019 - 6:38 am

    Cheers, great stuff, I like.

  • mpl pro June 1, 2019 - 9:48 am

    I really got into this web. I found it to be interesting and loaded with unique points of view.

  • hacks counter blox script June 1, 2019 - 9:53 pm

    I like this website its a master peace ! Glad I found this on google .

  • how to hacking fortnite June 3, 2019 - 1:41 am

    Good, this is what I was looking for in bing