By Leonard Harris

ISBN-10: 0226317765

ISBN-13: 9780226317762

Alain L. Locke (1886-1954), in his recognized 1925 anthology The New Negro, declared that “the pulse of the Negro international has began to overcome in Harlem.” known as the daddy of the Harlem Renaissance, Locke had his finger at once on that pulse, selling, influencing, and sparring with such figures as Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Jacob Lawrence, Richmond Barthé, William provide nonetheless, Booker T. Washington, W. E. B. Du Bois, Ralph Bunche, and John Dewey. The long-awaited first biography of this terribly talented thinker and author, Alain L. Locke narrates the untold tale of his profound impression on twentieth-century America’s cultural and highbrow life.

Leonard Harris and Charles Molesworth hint this tale via Locke’s Philadelphia upbringing, his undergraduate years at Harvard—where William James helped spark his influential engagement with pragmatism—and his tenure because the first African American Rhodes student. the guts in their narrative illuminates Locke’s heady years in Nineteen Twenties long island urban and his forty-year occupation at Howard college, the place he helped spearhead the grownup schooling move of the Thirties and wrote on themes starting from the philosophy of worth to the speculation of democracy. Harris and Molesworth convey that all through this illustrious career—despite a proper demeanour that many observers interpreted as elitist or distant—Locke remained a hot and powerful instructor and mentor, in addition to a fierce champion of literature and artwork as technique of breaking down obstacles among communities.

The multifaceted portrait that emerges from this enticing account successfully reclaims Locke’s rightful position within the pantheon of America’s most vital minds.

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Extra info for Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher

Sample text

After what might be called the in-house publication of the essay on the Alhambra, this is Locke’s first appearance in print. But it, too, is probably the result of Locke’s connection with one of his teachers, for presumably Brandt or one of the other instructors at the School of Pedagogy helped the essay into the light of publicity. Though an apprentice piece, designed in part for a restricted audience of other teachers, the polished essay nevertheless raises an issue in the field of education that is almost always controversial: is school the place for moral training?

The course of undergraduate study at Harvard at the turn of the century was extremely rigorous compared to previous and later periods. This was combined, however, with a recent reform of the curriculum, initiated by Harvard 31 President Charles Eliot, that did away with required courses and substituted a system of electives. Allowing undergraduates to pick courses that were especially important for their career plans served as the main justification for the changes. A sizable portion of the faculty objected to this, fearing such an orientation would only develop commercial and business mentalities.

ALPHU 164-50/17) 34 Chapter Two With a letter of introduction from Brandt, where the mentor described his student as “apt in philosophical subjects as in languages,” Locke met Josiah Royce in his first semester, having read one of his recent books while at Central High. He was told that the philosopher had earned the nickname of the “modern Socrates” because of his ugly appearance. Locke not only admired Royce’s library, he made a point of reading another one of his books before the meeting and told the professor how much it had done for him.

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Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

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