Download e-book for iPad: Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

By Leonard Harris

ISBN-10: 0226317765

ISBN-13: 9780226317762

Alain L. Locke (1886-1954), in his well-known 1925 anthology The New Negro, declared that “the pulse of the Negro international has began to overcome in Harlem.” referred to 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 supply nonetheless, Booker T. Washington, W. E. B. Du Bois, Ralph Bunche, and John Dewey. The long-awaited first biography of this terribly proficient thinker and author, Alain L. Locke narrates the untold tale of his profound influence 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 center in their narrative illuminates Locke’s heady years in Nineteen Twenties manhattan urban and his forty-year profession at Howard college, the place he helped spearhead the grownup schooling circulation of the Nineteen Thirties and wrote on issues starting from the philosophy of price to the speculation of democracy. Harris and Molesworth express that all through this illustrious career—despite a proper demeanour that many observers interpreted as elitist or distant—Locke remained a hot and potent 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 attractive account successfully reclaims Locke’s rightful position within the pantheon of America’s most crucial minds.

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For the first term he secured a rented room and lived there in fairly high style, but then he was forced by economic stringency to become a participant in dormitory life, moving into Grays Hall in the spring of 1905 and into Holyoke Hall his second year. His first impressions of his fellow freshmen were hardly positive, and he wrote home describing them as “a funny looking lot, dudes about 20–22 years of age, some eccentric with heels 2 ins. ” By the end of September Locke was able to wire his mother “Passed and Admitted,” and to further report that “Blue Monday,” when freshmen were mercilessly hazed, had been suppressed.

It is through the reading of literature that people imagine alternative, and more expansive, models for themselves. ” Here he anticipates the optative role that he sees for culture in his later work in The New Negro movement. ” Actually, Locke says that both the deductive and inductive approaches produce failures and successes, and each is therefore needed to supplement the other. ” Though still a student, Locke had already defined and raised standards and philosophical reflections for himself as a teacher, and they would influence all of his public activities over the next several decades.

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.

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


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