The anti-white supremacist working class intellectual activists Hubert Harrison (1883-1927), "The Father of Harlem Radicalism," and Theodore W. Allen (1919-2005), the author of The Invention of the White Race, were two of the most important thinkers on race and class in America. Harrison was active with the Socialist Party and Allen with the Communist Party and each offered important insights on the fight against white supremacy and “Why Know Socialism in the U.S.?” This discussion will explore white supremacy as the principle retardant to efforts at social change in America.
For over thirty-five years he has been active in the working class movement as a rank-and-file worker and as a union shop steward, officer, editor, and retiree. 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, 1994, 1997). 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 Harrison (1883-1927), another independent, autodidactic, anti-white-supremacist, working class intellectual.