Locke, Alain

Locke, Alain

▪ American writer
born Sept. 13, 1886, Philadelphia
died June 9, 1954, New York City
 American educator, writer, and philosopher, best remembered as the leader and chief interpreter of the Harlem Renaissance (q.v.).

      Graduated in philosophy from Harvard University (1907), Locke was the first black Rhodes scholar, studying at Oxford (1907–10) and the University of Berlin (1910–11). He received his Ph.D. in philosophy from Harvard (1918). For almost 40 years, until retirement in 1953 as head of the department of philosophy, Locke taught at Howard University, Washington, D.C.

      Locke stimulated and guided artistic activities and promoted the recognition and respect of blacks by the total American community. Having studied African culture and traced its influences upon Western civilization, he urged black painters, sculptors, and musicians to look to African sources for identity and to discover materials and techniques for their work. He encouraged black authors to seek subjects in black life and to set high artistic standards for themselves. He familiarized American readers with the Harlem Renaissance by editing a special Harlem issue for Survey Graphic (March 1925), which he expanded into The New Negro (1925), an anthology of fiction, poetry, drama, and essays.

      Locke edited the Bronze Booklet studies of cultural achievements by blacks. For almost two decades he annually reviewed literature by and about blacks in Opportunity and Phylon, and from 1940 until his death he regularly wrote about blacks for the Britannica Book of the Year. His many works include Four Negro Poets (1927), Frederick Douglass (Douglass, Frederick), a Biography of Anti-Slavery (1935), Negro Art—Past and Present (1936), and The Negro and His Music (1936). He left unfinished materials for a definitive study of the contributions of blacks to American culture. His materials formed the basis for M.J. Butcher's The Negro in American Culture (1956).

      A humanist who was intensely concerned with aesthetics, Locke termed his philosophy “cultural pluralism” and emphasized the necessity of determining values to guide human conduct and interrelationships. Chief among these values was respect for the uniqueness of each personality, which can develop fully and remain unique only within a democratic ethos.

* * *

Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Locke, Alain — (1886 1954)    The African American scholar and critic was born in Philadelphia and educated at Harvard and Oxford Universities, the latter on a Rhodes scholarship. From 1911, he taught at Howard University and wrote prolifically on African… …   The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater

  • Locke,Alain LeRoy — Locke (lŏk), Alain LeRoy. 1886 1954. American educator and writer who was a leader of the Harlem Renaissance. His works include Four Negro Poets (1927) and Negro Art: Past and Present (1936). * * * …   Universalium

  • Alain L. Locke — Alain Locke Alain Locke Activité(s) philosophe, essayiste, professeur Naissance 13 septembre 1885 Philadelphie Décès 9 juin 1954 (à 68 ans) New York Langue d écriture Anglais américain …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Alain LeRoy Locke — Alain Locke Alain Locke Activité(s) philosophe, essayiste, professeur Naissance 13 septembre 1885 Philadelphie Décès 9 juin 1954 (à 68 ans) New York Langue d écriture Anglais américain …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Alain Locke — Activités philosophe, essayiste, professeur Naissance 13 septembre 1885 Philadelphie Décès 9&# …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Alain LeRoy Locke — Infobox Person name = Alain LeRoy Locke caption = birth date = birth date|1886|9|13|mf=y birth place = Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S. death date = death date and age|1954|6|9|1886|9|13 dead=dead death place = New York City, U.S. Alain LeRoy… …   Wikipedia

  • Locke —  Cette page d’homonymie répertorie des personnes (réelles ou fictives) partageant un même patronyme. Sommaire 1 Patronyme 1.1 Liste des Locke …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Locke — bezeichnet: eine Haarlocke, siehe Locken in der Marschmusik die Überleitung vom Feldschritt zum nächsten Stück, siehe Lockmarsch Orte in den Vereinigten Staaten: Locke (Arkansas) Locke (Indiana) Locke (Kalifornien) Locke (New York) Locke… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Locke (surname) — Locke is a common Western surname of English origin, and may refer to: *Alain LeRoy Locke (1885–1954), African American educator, writer, and philosopher. *David Ross Locke (1833–1888), American journalist and humourist, also known by the… …   Wikipedia

  • Locke High School — Infobox School name =Alain Leroy Locke High School motto = established = type =Public affiliation = district =Los Angeles Unified School District grades =9 12 president = principal = Travis Kiel head of school = dean = faculty = staff = students …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”