Hubert Harrison: The Struggle for Equality, 1918-1927
A discussion Volume 2 with author Jeffrey B. Perry
Interviewed by Sean Ahern
Dr. Jeffrey B. Perry will be interviewed by Sean Ahern on his new book Hubert Harrison: The Struggle for Equality, 1918-1927(Columbia University Press, December 2020). The book follows Dr. Perry’s earlier Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918. Together, these two volumes comprise what is believed to be the first, full-life, two volume biography of an Afro-Caribbean and only the fourth of an Afro-American after those of Booker T. Washington, W. E. B. Du Bois, and Langston Hughes.
In this second volume of his acclaimed biography, Jeffrey B. Perry traces the final decade of Harrison’s life, from 1918 to 1927. Perry details Harrison’s literary and political activities, foregrounding his efforts against white supremacy and for racial consciousness and unity in struggles for equality and radical social change. The book explores Harrison’s role in the militant New Negro Movement and the International Colored Unity League, as well as his prolific work as a writer, educator, and editor of the New Negro and the Negro World. Perry examines Harrison’s interactions with major figures such as Garvey, Randolph, J. A. Rogers, Arthur Schomburg, and other prominent individuals and organizations as he agitated, educated, and organized for democracy and equality from a race-conscious, radical internationalist perspective. This magisterial biography demonstrates how Harrison’s life and work continue to offer profound insights on race, class, religion, immigration, war, democracy, and social change in America.
Jeffrey B. Perry is an independent scholar and archivist. He is the author of Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883–1918 (Columbia, 2008) and the editor of A Hubert Harrison Reader (2001), and he preserved and placed Harrison’s papers. He is also the literary executor for Theodore W. Allen, preserved and placed his papers, and edited and introduced the expanded 2012 edition of Allen’s two-volume The Invention of the White Race.
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