72. In A Class of Their Own: Early African American Socialism

Posted on 21 March 2021

Around the time of World War One, Hubert Harrison (pictured), A. Philip Randolph, and other black socialists argue that racial oppression is caused by capitalism.

Further Reading

• H.H. Harrison, The Negro and the Nation (New York: 1917).

• H.H. Harrison, When Africa Awakes: the “Inside Story” of the Stirrings and Strivings of the New Negro in the Western World (New York: 1920).

• P.M. Heideman (ed.), Class Struggle and the Color Line: American Socialism and the Race Question 1900-1930 (Chicago: 2018).

• A.E. Kersten and D. Lucander (eds), For Jobs and Freedom: Selected Speeches and Writings of A. Philip Randolph (Amherst: 2013).

• J.B. Perry, A Hubert Harrison Reader (Middletown: 2001).


• C.L. Bynum, A. Philip Randolph and the Struggle for Civil Rights (Baltimore: 2010).

P.S. Foner, American Socialism and Black Americans: From the Age of Jackson to World War II (Westport: 1977).

• M. Makalani, In the Cause of Freedom: Radical Black Internationalism from Harlem to London, 1917-1939 (Chapel Hill: 2014).

• M. Makalani, “An Apparatus for Negro Women: Black Women’s Organizing, Communism, and the Institutional Spaces of Radical Pan-African Thought,” Women, Gender, and Families of Color 4 (2016), 250-73.

• M. Marable, “A. Philip Randolph and the Foundations of Black American Socialism,” in J. Green (ed.), Workers’ Struggles, Past and Present (Philadelphia: 1983), 209-33.

• J.B. Perry, Hubert Harrison: the Voice of Harlem Radicalism, 1883-1918 (New York: 2010).

• P.F. Pfeffer, A. Philip Randolph: Pioneer of the Civil Rights Movement (Baton Rouge: 1990).

• N.M. Taylor, America’s First Black Socialist: The Radical Life of Peter H. Clark (Lexington: 2013).


J 29 March 2021

Since the first episode, I have been incredibly excited for this topic. The fact that you'll be covering Black women socialists in the next episode is all the more amazing. It is really wonderful to see these subjects covered in the podcast and with due justice. 

Peter Adamson 29 March 2021

In reply to by J

Great, thanks! I actually just listened back to the Vanessa Wills interview for putting it up on the site, and I can promise you won't be disappointed.

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