Barnard-Columbia International Socialist Organization

June 3, 2009

Tomorrow (Thurs): Author Jeffrey Perry on Harlem Radical Hubert Harrison

Filed under: ISO Events — Barnard-Columbia ISO @ 2:19 pm

Hope everyone is enjoying their summer! If you’re in NYC, the ISO is hosting historian/activist Jeffrey Perry, the foremost scholar of Hubert Harrison, a turn-of-the-century black radical who was born in St. Croix but lived and organized in Harlem. Harrison was also an active member of the Socialist Party, and for much of his life represented the best aspects of the socialist tradition in the United States. An inspiring organizer who sought to involve all working class people in the fight against racism, this talk is not to be missed!


Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism

Author, Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism 1883-1918

Thursday, June 4, 7pm
La Pregunta Arts Cafe
1528 Amsterdam Ave
between 135 and 136th streets {1 train to 137}

During the 1910s and 1920s Hubert Harrison was either the creator, or among the founders, of “almost every important development originating in Negro Harlem — from the Negro Manhood Movement to political representation in public office, from collecting Negro books to speaking on the streets, from demanding Federal control over lynching to agitation for Negroes on the police force.” He was also a key figure in developing Caribbean radicalism; he exhibited a rare willingness to learn from the peoples and cultures of Africa; and his (often unattributed) ideas and writings from this period significantly shaped the contours of radical Black thought on matters of race and class in the twentieth century.

Harrison joined the Socialist Party and wrote several major articles on race and class for the International Socialist Review magazine. Harrison promoted Eugene Debs’ presidential campaign on the Socialist ticket, and was aligned with the radical, pro-IWW wing of the party, which eventually led to his break with the SP.

Harrison was not only a political radical, however. He was an immensely skilled and popular orator and educator who spoke or read six languages; a highly praised journalist, critic, and book reviewer (reportedly the first regular Black book reviewer in history); a pioneer Black activist in the freethought and birth-control movements; a bibliophile, library builder, and library popularizer who helped develop the 135th Street Public Library into an international center for research in Black culture.

Come to a discussion of the hidden history of radicalism and socialism in Harlem, and the role of Hubert Harrison.

sponsored by the International Socialist Organization
Uptown Branch for more info


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