Merrell Noden ’78’s cover story, “Do-it-yourself scholars,” in the April 22 issue made me proud to be a member of the Class of ’68. Noden did a great job of placing Jeffrey Perry ’68’s historical breakthrough (Hubert Harrison: The Voice of Harlem Radicalism) in the context of independent scholarship. Perry’s work has the integrity and radical relevance that so many of us in my class were seeking. I read the book and alternated in thinking I was hearing about Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr., or A. Phillip Randolph.
Harrison was the kind of independent thinker who might have gotten into Princeton today, but as an African-American wouldn’t have had a chance in the early 20th century when he came of age. Without mentioning Princeton by name, Harrison’s searing critique of race and class in the pre-World War I United States spoke to our own University’s history, as well as the history of our nation. Thanks for running such a thought-provoking article.