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Title: The impact of Hubert Henry Harrison on Black radicalism, 1909-1927 : race, class, and political radicalism in Harlem and African American history
Author: Kwoba, Brian
ISNI:       0000 0004 6424 6536
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis focuses on Hubert Henry Harrison (1883-1927), a Caribbean-born journalist, educator, and community organizer whose historical restoration requires us to expand the frame of Black radicalism in the twentieth century. Harrison was the first Black leader of the Socialist Party of America to articulate a historical materialist analysis of the "Negro question", to organise a Black-led Marxist formation, and to systematically and publicly challenge the party's racial prejudices. In a time of urbanization, migration, lynching, and segregation, he subsequently developed the World War I-era New Negro movement by spearheading its first organisation, newspaper, nation-wide congress, and political party. Harrison pioneered a new form of anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist, coloured internationalism. He also inaugurated the socio-cultural tradition of street corner speaking in Harlem, which formed the institutional basis for developing a wide-ranging, working-class, community-based, Black modernist intellectual culture. His people-centred and mass-movement-oriented model of leadership catalysed the rise to prominence of Marcus Garvey and the Garvey movement. Meanwhile, Harrison's African identity and epistemology positioned him to establish an African-centred street scholar tradition in Harlem that endures to this day. Despite Harrison's wide-ranging influence on a whole generation of Black leaders from W.E.B. Du Bois to A. Philip Randolph, his impact and legacy have been largely forgotten. As a result, unearthing and recovering Harrison requires us to rethink multiple histories - the white left, the New Negro movement, Garveyism, the "Harlem Renaissance" - which have marginalized him. Harrison figured centrally in all of these social movements, so restoring his angle of vision demonstrates previously invisible connections, conjunctures, and continuities between disparate and often segregated currents of intellectual and political history. It also broadens the spectrum of Black emancipatory possibilities by restoring an example that retains much of its relevance today.
Supervisor: Tuck, Stephen Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Harlem Renaissance ; African Americans--Political activity--History--20th century ; Radicalism--United States--History--20th century ; United States--Race relations--History--20th century