Hubert Harrison: Black Griot of the Harlem Renaissance, By Brian Kwoba

We recommend your attention to this tribute to one of the lesser-known Black socialists and intellectuals. - Editor


The historical restoration of Hubert Henry Harrison (1883ā€“1927) calls for a rethinking of theĀ Black radical tradition in the early twentieth century. As a journalist, educator, and community organizer, this ā€œBlack Socratesā€ influenced a whole generation of Afro-diasporic intellectual and political innovation. Thanks to the decades-long andĀ groundbreaking effortsĀ of independent scholarĀ Jeffrey B. Perry, a growing interest has emerged regarding the life and legacy of Harrison, whom A. Phillip Randolph called the ā€œfather of Harlem radicalism.ā€ Because he remains such an under-appreciated figure, his recovery requires us to expand and reframe multiple historiesā€”including that of the socialist left, theĀ New NegroĀ movement,Ā Garveyism, and the ā€œHarlem Renaissanceā€ā€”that have marginalized him. Harrison had a critical impact on all of these social movements, and exploring his angle of vision illuminates previously invisible connections between them. . .

This article originally appeared in Black Perspectives, published by the African-American Intellectual History Society (7/8/2017) Photo: African American Humanist Society.

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Talking About Socialism Webinar

March 25, 2018

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