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

By Leonard Harris

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 without delay on that pulse, selling, influencing, and sparring with such figures as Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Jacob Lawrence, Richmond Barthé, William supply 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 Twenties ny urban and his forty-year occupation at Howard collage, the place he helped spearhead the grownup schooling flow of the Nineteen Thirties and wrote on themes starting from the philosophy of worth to the idea 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 paintings 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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Brandt, his teacher and mentor at the School of Pedagogy, now he was to meet the teachers who had taught—and inspired and measured—the man who had taught him. Cambridge was not all completely new territory for him. There existed 30 Chapter Two at Harvard a network of graduates not only from the School of Pedagogy but also from Central High School. Some of these young men would become lifelong friends of Locke. Indeed, he knew some of them well even while still at Central—especially David A. Pfaff, known as Dap, and C.

In an undated letter he describes how he “hurried over to hear Prof. 11 There was also a class, misleadingly called Economics 3, where Locke’s answers to a mid-year exam in January 1906 showed that he was studying what today we would call political theory. ,” Locke ignores the ethnocentricity of the formulation and weaves together a set of explanations based on theorists as disparate as Spencer and Walter Bagehot. From the latter he borrows the observation that progress is never verifiable because there is no test or criterion of ultimate value.

The exam question also strongly implies that it is the philosophy of individualism that will give the issues their purchase. ” In one of his final exams, he writes out an argument that seeks to overcome the fact/value split by positing a “higher” unity that is a version of an ideal form. Eventually Locke would become dissatisfied with this approach, preferring instead the pluralism of James and yet later that of Dewey to the idealism of Santayana and Royce. 10 Some of the seeds of Jamesian pragmatism can be detected in an answer Locke wrote for his mid-year exam in Royce’s Philosophy 9, just about one year later than the Philosophy 4 exam: Experience .

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