Pebbles and ripples: Hubert harrison and the rise of the garvey movement


Hubert Henry Harrison (1883–1927) represents an underappreciated educator, journalist, and community organizer whose historical restoration forces us to rethink the Black radical tradition in the early twentieth century. A case in point concerns Harrison’s influence on Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA). Founded in 1914 by Amy Ashwood and Marcus Garvey, the UNIA originally sought to establish an institute for industrial education in Jamaica. Amid the politicizing atmosphere of the First World War, Garvey’s encounter with Hubert Harrison and his Liberty League of Negro-Americans in Harlem prompted Garvey to reorient the UNIA into a mass-movement-building project that set the stage for its growth into one of the largest international organizations of African-descended people in history. This essay argues that a close analysis of Harrison’s impact on Marcus Garvey and the rise of the Garvey movement presents a crucial yet hitherto missing part of our understanding

Publication Title

Journal of African American History