Hubert Harrison’s Idol Essay

Hubert Harrison’s Idol

On Wednesday 22nd of April 2009, I assisted Jeffrey Perry’s lecture at University of Colorado at Boulder - Hubert Harrison’s Idol Essay introduction. His lecture focused on Hubert Harrison, to whom he wrote his first autobiography that has ever been published.

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Jeffrey Perry is the author of Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism 1883-1918. Jeffrey Perry is an Independent scholar who focuses his knowledge on social activism: he works mostly on the “white-supremacy as a retardant to social change.” His works have been influenced by his personal experiences and observations plus by Theodore W. Allan, an independent intellectual, writer, and activist and wrote The Invention of the White Race (two volumes).

When everyone finally got settled down Jeffrey Perry, our guest speaker of the evening, briefly introduced himself to the audience and promptly jumped to the main subject he was going to talk about, Hubert Harrison.

Throughout the lecture, Jeffrey Perry has successfully proven that although he was not infamous, Hubert Harrison was one of the greatest men in the United States’ history. He began by quickly recounting where Hubert Harrison was from, born in Saint Croix in the Virgin Islands in 1883. This American Immigrant was a writer, an orator, a political activist and a critic. Jeffrey thought listing all of those achievements about Hubert Harrison was not enough. So as a result he started proving all the features, which make Hubert Harrison a rock but modest star in New York City. Along his journey of explaining us why Hubert Harrison was a hidden giant, Jeffrey Perry explained how his process of writing this detail and well written autobiography. He highlighted pictures that he took while doing research on his idol.

When he was proving that Hubert Harrison was a huge influence in the community, Perry made sure to include all the important figures that Harrison has crossed by during his life; including Hodge Kirnon, A. Schomburg who said that Harrison “was ahead of time,” Booker Washington, Charles Anderson, Hamilton Jackson …etc.

He then to enforce his statement, Jeffrey Perry gave numerous reasons why the majority of America’s population did not know about Hubert Harrison: He was poor, part of the working class, black, born outside the United States and many other features…

To make Hubert Harrison even stronger then he already was, Jeffrey Perry kept emphasizing that Harrison came out of nothing. Perry made sure he listed all the journals he has participated in, such as the New Negro, which he founded, he also made sure to list all the Union Harrison has been involved in and in which he influenced many leaders and individuals, as for example, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

Jeffrey has done a wonderful job portraying Hubert Harrison the way he wanted him to be portrayed: intellectual, smart, influential, powerful but humble. Even though some part were skimmed a little too rapidly, the flow was agreeable to listen, which made it pretty easy to remember and pay attention instead of trying to note down everything he said.


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