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Harrison, Hubert Henry (27 April 1883–17 December 1927), black intellectual and radical political activist, was born in Concordia, St. Croix, Danish West Indies (now U.S. Virgin Islands), the son of William Adolphus Harrison and Cecilia Elizabeth Haines. Little is known of his father. His mother had at least three other children and, in 1889, married a laborer. Harrison received a primary education in St. Croix. In September 1900, after his mother died, he immigrated to New York City, where he worked low-paying jobs, attended evening high school, did some writing, editing, and lecturing, and read voraciously. In 1907 he obtained postal employment and moved to Harlem. The following year he taught at the White Rose Home, where he was deeply influenced by social worker Frances Reynolds Keyser, a future founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). In 1909 he married Irene Louise Horton, with whom he had five children....

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Howland, Marie (23 January 1836–18 September 1921), women's rights advocate, utopian socialist, and writer, women’s rights advocate, utopian socialist, and writer, was born Hannah Marie Stevens in Lebanon, New Hampshire, the eldest daughter of poor farmers whose names are unknown. As a young girl, Howland insisted that her parents allow her to attend school, just like her brother, and she excelled at her studies. When she was twelve, however, her formal education came to an abrupt end with the death of her father. Left destitute, the family had to separate in order to survive. Her mother had always worked hard on the farm but without wages. Howland learned, at an early age, what economic dependence meant for women....

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Scott, Leroy Martin (11 May 1875–21 July 1929), writer, was born in Fairmount, Indiana, the son of Eli J. Scott and Eleanor S. Reader. He attended high school in Fairmount and graduated in 1897 from Indiana University. His first jobs were on newspapers, initially in Louisiana on a paper owned by his brother, and then on the ...

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Thomas, Norman Mattoon (20 November 1884–19 December 1968), crusader for social justice and titular leader of the American Socialist party, was born in Marion, Ohio, the son of Welling Evan Thomas, a Presbyterian minister, and Emma Mattoon. Norman Thomas was also the grandson and great-grandson of ministers. Reared in an environment that provided discipline tempered by love, he graduated from Marion High School in 1901, spent a year at Bucknell University, then transferred to Princeton University as a predivinity student. There he studied under future president ...