Dr. Jeffrey B. Perry is an independent, working-class scholar formally educated at Princeton, Harvard, Rutgers, and Columbia.
His work focuses on the role of white supremacy as a retardant to progressive social change and on the centrality of struggle against white supremacy to progressive social change efforts..
For fifty years Jeff Perry has been active in the working class movement as a rank-and-file worker and as a union shop steward, officer, editor, and retiree at the branch, local, and national levels. He has also been involved in domestic and international social justice issues including affirmative action, union democracy, and anti-apartheid, anti-war, and anti-imperialist work.
Perry was influenced toward serious study of matters of race and class in America through personal experiences and readings and through the work of an independent scholar and close personal friend, the late Theodore William Allen (1919-2005), author of "The Invention of the White Race," (2 vols., Verso Books, 1994, 1997, new edition 2012) and "Summary of the Argument of The Invention of the White Race." Allen was an anti-white-supremacist, proletarian intellectual and an autodidact whose research and writings on the role of white supremacy in United States history and on the centrality of the struggle against white supremacy disposed Perry to be receptive to the life and work of Hubert H. Harrison (1883-1927), another independent, autodidactic, anti-white-supremacist, working class intellectual. Perry considers Harrison and Allen to be two of the twentieth century's most important writers on "race" and class in America.
Dr. Perry is the author of "Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918" (Columbia University Press, 2008) and "Hubert Harrison: The Struggle for Equality, 1918-1927" (Columbia University Press, 2020). The latter volume has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, the Wesley-Logan Prize in African Diaspora History of the American Historical Association, the Isaac and Tamara Deutscher Memorial Prize, the Plutarch Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the John Hope Franklin Publication Prize (from the American Studies Association).
He preserved and inventoried the "Hubert H. Harrison Papers" and helped to place them at the Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University and to develop the "Hubert H. Harrison Papers, 1893-1927: Finding Aid" and the online Hubert H. Harrison Digital Collection at Columbia University, which contains over 1,300 items including Harrison's "Diary."
Dr. Perry is also the editor of "A Hubert Harrison Reader" (Wesleyan University Press, 2001); he wrote new introductions and supplemental notes for Hubert H. Harrison, "When Africa Awakes: The 'Inside Story" of the New Negro in the Western World" (Diasporic Africa Press, 2015); and he is working on a new collection of Harrison's writings for publication.
Perry is also the literary executor for, and chronicler of the life of, Theodore William Allen whose Papers he preserved and inventoried before placing them at the Special Collections and University Archives of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. He edited and introduced Allen's "Class Struggle and the Origin of Racial Slavery: The Invention of the White Race" (1975; Center for the Study of Working Class Life, State University of New York, Stony Brook, 2006) and he has authored numerous other pieces on Allen including a lengthy treatment of "The Developing Conjuncture and Some Insights From Hubert Harrison and Theodore W. Allen on the Centrality of the Fight Against White Supremacy" in ("Cultural Logic," July 2010 ). Additonally he contributed new introductions, back matter, internal study guides, and expanded indexes for the new (Verso Books, November 2012) expanded edition of Allen's two-volume "The Invention of the White Race" (Vol 1: "Racial Oppression and Social Control" and Vol. 2: "The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America") and he is working on a new edition of these works..
Writings by Dr. Perry have appeared in "AfricanGlobe," "AlterNet," "CounterPunch," "Facts For Working People," "Truthout," "Black Past.org," "Black Agenda Report," "Black Commentator," "Z Net," "Cultural Logic," "Souls," "Communist History," "Local 2627 AFSCME,"" History News Network," "Amsterdam News," "Socialism and Democracy," "Encyclopedia of African American History and Culture," "Pambazuka News," "Hartford Guardian," "Claridad," "Journal of American History," "Journal of Pan-African Studies," "New Labor Forum," "Local 300 Mail Handlers News," "The Mail Handler," "Mail Handler Voice," "Your Union News," "Labor Notes," "Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance," "Encyclopedia of African American Literature," "Lies of Our Times,"and various other encyclopedias, journals, newspapers, and labor publications.
In efforts at public outreach Dr. Perry has spoken on radio and TV and delivered presentations at hundreds of domestic and international venues including colleges, universities, unions, libraries, bookstores, museums, conferences, community and educational forums, and high schools.
At the current time Perry is also preparing his personal "Papers," including much material on labor, "race," and the left for placement at a major repository.
Video samples of Dr. Perry's Slide Presentation talks on "Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918" and on Theodore W. Allen's "The Invention of the White Race" are available online at www.jeffreybperry.net
Hubert Harrison: The Struggle for Equality, 1918-1927
"Hubert Harrison: The Struggle for Equality, 1918-1927" (Columbia University Press) by Jeffrey B. Perry is the second volume of my Harrison biography and it follows "Hubert Harrison: The Father of Harlem Radicalism 1883-1918." These two works comprise what is believed to be the first full-life, multi-volume biography of an Afro-Caribbean and only the fourth of an African American after those of Booker T. Washington, W.E.B Du Bois, and Langston Hughes.
This second volume traces the final decade of Harrison's life, from 1918 to 1927. It details Harrison's literary and political activities and 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."
It also discusses Harrison's interactions with major figures such as Marcus Garvey, A. Philip Randolph, W. E. B.Du Bois, William Monroe Trotter, J. A. Rogers, Arthur Schomburg, Chandler Owen, D. Hamilton Jackson, Eugene O'Neill, Amy Ashwood Garvey, Augusta Savage, Richard B. Moore, and other prominent individuals and organizations as he agitated, educated, orated, and organized for democracy, equality, and social change from a race-conscious, radical internationalist perspective.
This 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. It should be of interest to those interested in Black History, Caribbean History, Virgin Islands History, Africana Studies, Pan Africanism, U.S. History, Radical History, journalism, internationalism, book and theater reviews, poetry, Harlem history, and biography.
Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-19182008