Hubert H. Harrison and Samuel A. Haynes (Episode 6 of 14); Black power origins
Afro-American militancy. Tonight's biographies are Hubert Henry Harrison and Samuel A Hames to Ben active in the 1920s and particularly involved in and around the Garvey movement. The years of World War 1 and the early 1980s abounded in outspoken individualistic and often overly intellectual black socialist. The usual account of these men lumps all together under the label of radicals. A good many socialist appear far from radical when studied in detail the arch type of the less than radical radical was Hubert Henry Harrison lecture literary critic newspaper editor and virtually self-educated master of innumerable fields of study. Born in saying qua Virgin Islands and 1883 Harrison had only a grade school education in the Danish schools of the islands. Upon coming to the United States he worked in the post office in New York from 19 07 to 1911.
During which time he published a few book reviews for The New York Times around 1912 he became involved with the Max Eastman John Reed campus crowd of radicals of Harvard. Harrison was one of the editors of the old Massa's magazine. It seems Harrison turned to socialism after being fired from his government job subsequent to expressing strong criticism of Booker T Washington. Washington had certain powers and politics over civil service at this time. During World War One Harrison founded in Harlem a Liberty League for Afro Americans. It was a pacifist organization connected with the Socialist Party. He published a few issues of a small magazine The Voice as a sounding board for his Liberty League. It was radical enough as a magazine to qualify for the Attorney General's report on sedition in the Negra press. The pacifist socialists tiresome was highly critical of black middle class snobbery and the end of the
NAACP and he nicknamed that organization the National Association for the Advancement of certain people. It was Harrison who gave Marcus Garvey a start in Harlem Garvey had been in the States about a year and had gone unnoticed until the night in August 1917 when Harrison chose to personally introduce the fiery Jamaican to a meeting of several thousand Harlem Nights. The meeting had been called to recruit members into the Liberty League and Gary Garvey spoke with passion and eloquence in behalf of the man who introduced him. However Gabi was not about to play second fiddle in someone else's organization. He took his success with the crowd as evidence of an ability to rally black people to his own cause. Soon as you and I had overshadowed the Liberty League and all other organizations in Harlem Harrison himself became a Garvey supporter and an editor of the negro world. As Harrison explained to a white friend he had a similar pan-Africanist
problem radicalism Hubert Harrison was something of a statesman for racial unity in his capacity as an authority on African history and culture he was able to bridge the gap and maintain respect of both nationalist and socialist. Both Garvey ites and integration is in the 19 20 split between Garvey ites and socialist. It was Harrison who called a secret meeting in Greenwich Village to get together leading leftist of Harlem for a discussion of ways of turning the U.N. I hate toward socialism. And apparently this secret meeting was inconclusive not only would bitterness soon increase between Darby and the left but many socialist present at the village con fab would soon fall out among themselves dividing into radical and moderate factions. Harrison turned his interest then to scholarly pursuits stopped his work on the Negra world like 1921. Some
working with Arthur Schomburg Dumb-Ass the negro collection for the Harlem Public Library which has become one of the world's most important depositories of source material on the Negril. Harrison donated much of his own extensive library to the Schoenberg collection. The key to understanding Harrison is in his nonpolitical activities not withstanding his ties to the Socialist Party with left journals the masses the New Masses The New Republic and with the mass based UN I have Garvey Harrison was by no means a professional radical. In the period before World War One he was instructor of English in economics at the Harlem School of Social Science professor of comparative religion at the modern school and after the war professor of embryology at the Cosmopolitan College of chiropractic. He belonged to a number of civic organizations was a member of the Elks throughout the 1920s he was a staff lecturer for the New York Board of Education expounding on
such subjects as the literary lights of yesterday and today. He was for some years a lecturer at NYU giving a course in contemporary civilization. His writings consist largely of literary criticism in both left journals and mainstream publications such as the Christian Science Monitor. His reputation in Harlem however was not up for literary criticism or embryology but for his great knowledge on the Negril and ancient African history. He was remembered by his contemporary Richard B more as having Harlan's been having been Harlem's most influential popularizer of the glories of Negro past. Cyril Briggs of the African blood brotherhood the leftist offshoot of Garvey ites once titled Harrison the founder and first professor of street corner University referring to Harrison's speeches on street corners of Harlem his oratorical disquisitions of
history were in addition to one theoretical and historical work when Africa wakes published in one thousand twenty as seen in the chapter headings it was concerned with quote our international consciousness the new politics the new race consciousness. The problem of leadership and it concluded that what the Negro needed was knowledge of a wider world and of the long past. Harrison was one of the few Nigro intellectuals to work with Garvey heights. He remained as an editor the Negra world as mentioned on in two thousand nine hundred twenty one. The socialist messenger magazine offered an explanation for his ties with Garvey. According to staff writer Floyd Kelvin Harrison worked with the U.N. IAEA because he hadn't been an egotistical pontificator more concerned with having a large audience them with the issue of whose platform he was speaking from. This seems valid in part
probably more important. Harrison was from the West Indies. The easy acceptance of an all black organization was a distinguishing factor between West Indian and American Negroes. In addition the roundish spectacled Harrison was quite dark of color something of a requirement for being a Garvey ite. Most American Negro in the lecture halls were too light skinned to pass this test. Samuel a Hanes. One of the more tenacious supporters of Garvey ism was Samuel a Hanes an immigrant from the West Indies he settled in Pittsburgh in the early 20s and was a leader of the powerful. You and I a chapter in that city in 1921 he held the post of Registrar in the U.N. I enter national for a decade his columns on race relations were a regular feature of the negro world during the 1940s he wrote for the African Journal which had among its contributors George Patton more Marcus Garvey his
widow and more of other former Garvey boys. Haynes had his political awakening during World War One as a youth of eighteen he joined the army and went abroad to fight in Egypt and Mesopotamia. Upon returning to the West Indies he was involved in a mutiny of black troops. At one point the blacks were about to slaughter a captive group of white soldiers and were stopped by the restraining influences of Haines a move which earned him the Grateful thanks of British authorities. In later years he would proudly recall his efforts in behalf of the white soldiers and consider it evidence of his sense of fairness and justice for peoples of all races. Now as a Nigro world columnist as a columnist Haynes was noted for his anti-white venom strong opinion was mixed with news on lynchings and other barbarities of white America reports on economic problems and International Affairs also appeared with regularity in Haynes's writings.
After Garvey expulsion of the socialists from his movement in 19 20 and 21 The Guardian newspaper Nigro world lost much of its emphasis on economic problems and it was Haynes who helped to retain some of the early flavor through his coverage of the anti-colonial demonstrations and labor strikes in the West Indies cetera. In a column of one thousand twenty nine he saw fit to defend the boys in the Pan-African Congresses from attacks in the Negro press to accusations that the Pan African movement was a distraction from the central fight for justice in the United States. Haynes replied that DuBose's efforts were but part of a growing awareness that freedom for the Negril in America was intimately tied to African liberation and the Pan African Congress was in league with the U.N. I say the West African Students Union the African National Congress and other movements for African redemption. At the
time of this editorial Marcus Garvey had by no means reconciled his differences with the two boys that a Negro world columnist would write in a conciliatory vein was but one case among many of the garbage who was not in full accord with the views of the leader concerning this historic feud between Dubois and Garvey a strong criticism of white injustice got him in brawl in an editorial battle with George Schuyler of the Pittsburgh Courier. The latter labeling the former black Klu Klux Klan or Haynes replied I fully understand Mr. Schuyler's position and sympathize with him. However I don't believe in apocrypha in the seat between the races in Haines view it was apocrypha seated to the nigh the negro his share of world power Africa should be for the black man. Asia for the Asians. The white man for Europe and America. And if this is Klu Klux Klan ism then make the best of it. Said Haynes.
Schuyler was called to task for his contention that progress was the result of cooperation. The courier columnist had used as examples of the Civil War to End Slavery in America in the Belgium government investigation of atrocities in the Congo. Haynes retorted that any cooperation involving these cases. It was not because of sympathy for the black but rather it was done in the case of the Congo in particular out of fear of open rebellion in the Belgian Congo. The rebuttal to scholar of the right note is blunt and rather morally cool. This was the basis of pain support for the UN IAEA whereas many a guard held to a personal worship of the leader. Haim's believed in the UN I am as a practical necessity when Garvey was jailed in 1905 and many members were leaving the leaderless movement. Ames was one of four leading
- Black power origins
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- Ted Vincent discusses Hubert H. Harrison, a socialist and Garveyite, who participated in the Harlem Renaissance, as well as Samuel Alfred Haynes, a Garveyite columnist with a noteworthy social consciousness.
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- Harrison, Hubert H.; Haynes, Samuel Alfred, 1899-1971; Garvey movement; African Americans--Civil rights--History
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