Get Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher PDF

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 started to overcome in Harlem.” referred to 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 provide 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 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 center in their narrative illuminates Locke’s heady years in Twenties ny urban and his forty-year profession at Howard collage, the place he helped spearhead the grownup schooling circulate of the Thirties and wrote on themes starting from the philosophy of price to the idea of democracy. Harris and Molesworth exhibit 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 vital minds.

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The parents had agreed that, if their first child were a male, they would have only one. All this contributed to his being “idolized” by both parents. Indeed, “early childhood life was unusually close with my father, who changed his position from day to night shift in the post-office to be able to take care of me”: This included bathing and all intimate care since father was distrustful of the old-fashioned ways of both grandmothers. He became my constant companion and playmate, though forced to resume daytime work when I was four.

This obviously glanced at his sexual orientation as well as his devotion to high European culture and personal fastidiousness. His father’s death in 1892 threw Locke, who was then not quite six years old, “into the closest companionship” with Mary Locke. ” The security offered by the mother, along with the atmosphere in the house, added up to an unshakable sense of self-possession: I was a self-centered, rather selfish and extremely poised child, mature enough even before my father’s death to be indifferent to others and what they did or thought.

ALPHU 164-143/5) Again the theme of open and closed appears, and the notion of pollution is replaced with that of warfare, as the family barricades separate the world of utter honesty and the world of social appearance, where a certain amount of deception is not only tolerated but necessary—as if the family wash could make its appearance all by itself. The sense of socialization as a process grounded in control and denial is not especially original, obviously, nor is it striking to suggest that a sense of recompense or sublimation helps to make such a process more palatable.

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


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