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Philip Harrison of the Black Justice Party

Philip Harrison was a former slave who moved to Arizona and married an Osage Indian after being freed in 1921. Harrison began organizing his fellow freedmen into the Black Justice Party, a social justice movement which sought reparations from Mexico as recompense for a century of Negro slavery. Harrison also began making plans for an uprising that he called "justice day."

After President Alvin Silva announced that he was cancelling Mexico's national elections in 1944, Harrison decided to act, and on 12 March 1944 he declared a "war against the Rainbows." The Black Justice Party began carrying out terror attacks on the Anglo, Hispano, and Mexicano populations of California, Arizona, Mexico del Norte, and Jefferson. At the same time, another group of Mexican Negroes under Miguel Calhoun began a similar campaign in the states of Durango and Chiapas.

Harrison died in a gun battle in Armadillo, Arizona in 1948, and Calhoun took over the leadership of the Black Justice Party.


Sobel's source for the life of Philip Harrison is Mitchell Armitage's Justice Now!: A History of Domestic Opposition to the Silva Regime in the Global War (Mexico City, 1969).

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