Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher
Alain L. Locke (1886-1954), in his famous 1925 anthology TheNew Negro, declared that “the pulse of the Negro world has begun to beat in Harlem.” Often called the father of the Harlem Renaissance, Locke had his finger directly on that pulse, promoting, influencing, and sparring with such figures as Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Jacob Lawrence, Richmond Barthé, William Grant Still, Booker T. Washington, W. E. B. Du Bois, Ralph Bunche, and John Dewey. The long-awaited first biography of this extraordinarily gifted philosopher and writer, Alain L. Locke narrates the untold story of his profound impact on twentieth-century America’s cultural and intellectual life. Leonard Harris and Charles Molesworth trace this story through Locke’s Philadelphia upbringing, his undergraduate years at Harvard—where William James helped spark his influential engagement with pragmatism—and his tenure as the first African American Rhodes Scholar. The heart of their narrative illuminates Locke’s heady years in 1920s New York City and his forty-year career at Howard University, where he helped spearhead the adult education movement of the 1930s and wrote on topics ranging from the philosophy of value to the theory of democracy. Harris and Molesworth show that throughout this illustrious career—despite a formal manner that many observers interpreted as elitist or distant—Locke remained a warm and effective teacher and mentor, as well as a fierce champion of literature and art as means of breaking down barriers between communities. The multifaceted portrait that emerges from this engaging account effectively reclaims Locke’s rightful place in the pantheon of America’s most important minds.
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In 1948, near the end of his teaching career—and near the end of his life— Alain
Locke was asked to teach at the New School in New York City. Given virtual carte
blanche, Locke offered three courses directly connected to his life's work: “The ...
... of the indigenous black population before the country's independence in 1847.
Pliny's father, Ishmael Locke (1814–52), a freeborn black person, began teaching
in 1843 at the first African American school in 1 • The Lockes of Philadelphia.
teaching in 1843 at the first African American school in Salem, New Jersey,
organized by the Coloured School Association of Friends. Family tradition had it
that he had attended Cambridge University, although there is no evidence of his
For the primary grades, Locke attended the Charles Close School, at Seventh
and Dickinson Streets in Philadelphia. Mary Locke taught at this school before,
during, and after Locke was a student there, from 1886 to 1903, then joining Mt.
No one would readily expect a high school student in such a context openly to
challenge the received pieties of his teachers, despite his own experiences of
racial prejudice. Nevertheless, such prejudice was all too apparent in the racism
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Alain L. Locke: biography of a philosopherUser Review - Not Available - Book Verdict
Harris (philosophy, Purdue Univ.) and Molesworth (English, Queen's Coll.) recount the life and works of the pragmatic philosopher and black leader Alain Locke. A graduate of Harvard, the first African ... Read full review
Sahdji to the Bronze Booklets
9 The Educator at Work and at Large
10 Theorizing Democracy
11 The Final Years
12 Lockes Legacy