A Hubert Harrison Reader, edited with introduction and notes by Jeffrey B. Perry, Wesleyan University Press, 496 pp., 4 illus., 7 x 10, May 2001, paperback ISBN 0-8195-6470-2 $24.95, cloth ISBN 0-8195-6469-9 $70.00
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 World War I-era activists and "common people." He 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's writings on class and race consciousness, the labor movement, the New Negro movement, religion, education, politics, Black leadership and leaders, international events, Caribbean topics, the Virgin Islands, literature and literary criticism, and the Black theater. Historian Ernest Allen, Jr., emphasizes that this work will "change the way we tend to look at Black thought generally in this period."
The book is distributed for Wesleyan University Press by the University Press of New England [catalogue description and ordering information]. A brief excerpt from the book's introduction is also available on-line at Dartmouth.