Hubert Harrison

Hubert Harrison
His name is a mystery
Written out of history
Because he left no stone unturned
From every source he learned
All exploiters he spurned
From Booker T. Washington to Marcus Garvey
He boldly exposed the pawns of racist bosses
And those who used Black causes
To hustle the people
He was without equal
One of the greatest minds
Of his time
When Blacks migrated
To urban centers from the South to find
Freedom from poverty
Lynchings and the Ku Klux Klan
Saw much to be learned from Afrikans
An unrivaled people’s champion
Stood for women’s equal rights
Led the struggle against
Lynch mobs and supremacy of whites
Spoke against the attack on Black Wall Street
With white mobs and bombs
Called on Blacks to take up arms
To protect themselves
To respect themselves
Rejected leadership from the elite and middle classes
Championed creating leadership from the masses
Recognized Black people as a nation
Maintained a humble occupation
A proletarian postal worker
Street orator
Black journalist
And mass educator
A leading Black socialist
The mind behind Garvey’s UNIA
Until he witnessed Garvey betray
The people with scams bombast and lies
Which he despised
Broke ranks
Exposed Garvey as a hustle
With fake Afrikan muscle
Behind him
Garvey tried to keep Hubert in line
But he wouldn’t mind him
An ‘Emperor Jones’ he defined him
Influenced every major Black voice
Of the Renaissance in Harlem
The people’s choice
Many regarded him
The father of radical Black
Literature poetry and theater
Unmatched brilliance as a
Scientific thinker
Theoretical creator
If it began in early Black Harlem he led it
A race and class conscious critic
From JA Rogers and Cyril Briggs
To Winston James
Among those he influenced
Were the greatest names
In Black history
Yet his name is a mystery
Few know this story
Cuz he boldly exposed those
Who falsely posed
As champions of the people
Scammers and con men
Opportunists he’d see through
Many of whom were in league
With the powers that be
Like Booker T.
It was his honesty
That made them his enemy
So they were able to themselves erase
And put themselves in place
Of his legacy
If many Black leaders knew
Of Hubert’s political breakthroughs
We’d have avoided many obstacles
He showed what was possible
When the source
Of our political voice
Is the people en masse
Remember Hubert Harrison
And serve the future with the past!


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