Hubert H. Harrison, Harlem Publisher

March 22, 2014

Hubert H HarrisonHubert H. Harrison, “The Negro and the Nation” (Cosmo-Advocate Publishing Company, 2305 Seventh Avenue, New York, 1917).In August 1917, shortly after founding the first organization (The Liberty League) and the first newspaper (“The Voice”) of the “New Negro Movement,” Hubert Harrison completed his first book – “The Negro and the Nation.” The book was published by the Cosmo-Advocate Publishing Company, which was headed by Barbados-born Orlando M. Thompson (a future Vice-President of the Black Star Line) and included Barbados-born Richard B. Moore (a Socialist and bibliophile and future Communist and Scottsboro Boys orator) as a part owner.

Harrison was at a highpoint in popularity and “The Negro and the Nation”’s “Introductory” described in detail how the World War had quickened the development of race consciousness. The book then reprinted some of Harrison’s early articles — “The Black Man’s Burden” (1912), “Socialism and the Negro” (c. 1912), “The Real Negro Problem” (c. 1912), “On A Certain Conservatism in Negroes” (1914), “What Socialism Means To Us” (1912), and “The Negro and the Newspapers” (c. 1910-1912). In the “Preface” Harrison explained that the reprinted articles helped to describe “the present situation of the Negro in present day America” and showed” how that situation re-acts upon the mind of the Negro.” He emphasized that such exposure was the “Negro’s” immediate “great need.”
In the “Preface” he also indicated that he planned, in the near future, to write a book “on the New Negro” which would “set forth the aims and ideals” of the new movement “which has grown out of the international crusade ‘for democracy — for the right to have A VOICE in their own government’ — as President Wilson so sincerely put it.”

In 1919 Harrison would edit “The New Negro: A Monthly Magazine of a Different Sort” — “intended as an organ of the international consciousness of the darker races — especially of the Negro race.”

Then, in 1920, Harrison did complete that second book – “When Africa Awakes: The “Inside Story” of the Stirrings and Strivings of the New Negro in the Western World” (The Porro Press, 513 Lenox Ave, New York, August 1920). In the “Introductory” to that work Harrison writes: “It is hardly necessary to point out that the AFRICA of the title is to be taken in its racial rather than its geographical sense.”

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