NEWSLETTER SIGNUP

By signing up to our newsletter, you agree to our terms.

Read More

Locke's Philosophy

Alain LeRoy Locke was a world-renowned philosopher.  Stanford University has compiled a brief (as philosophy goes at least) and comprehensive analysis of his works, which you can read here.

Charles Barkley's
Black History Month All Stars

All Star #20: Alain Leroy Locke

I speak at a lot of schools across the country, and I’ve encountered a trend that drives me freakin’ nuts. I always ask students the following question:

“How many of you want to be a professional athlete or a rapper?”

At inner-city, mostly African American schools, nearly every hand shoots up. When I ask the same question in a white suburban school, maybe 10 percent of hands are raised. I speak to a lot of schools, and this happens without fail.

I tell black kids all the time, “You ain’t gonna be me.” Even if you’re any good on the court, the odds are stacked against you. But I can tell from the blank way they look back at me: They’re putting all their eggs in this totally unlikely basket. But I get why. Young black kids get from the media an unrealistic picture of African American success. Athletes and rappers, with Denzel and Oprah thrown in.

So to mark Black History Month here at The Citizen, I’m going to introduce you every day to my Philadelphia Black History Month All-Stars. Many of them didn’t make it into the history books or even the newspapers of their time. But their stories are inspiring and worth knowing.

20

Alain Leroy Locke

Writer, ‘Dean’ of Harlem Renaissance

Alain Leroy Locke

Writer, ‘Dean’ of Harlem Renaissance

(September 13, 1885 – June 9, 1954)

A writer and philosopher, Alain Leroy Locke is considered the philosophical architect of the Harlem Renaissance, a less widely-known—but no less important—figure than stars Zora Neale Hurston and Langston Hughes. The first African American Rhodes scholar (and last to be selected until 1960), Locke graduated from Central High School and then Harvard University. Despite his talents, even in England Locke faced adversity. Gay and black, Locke was rejected from many schools once he arrived at Oxford University because of his race, and had trouble finding work once he returned home. But he triumphed, teaching and leading at Howard University for 42 years. Sixty years after his death, his ashes were buried in the Congressional Cemetery in 2013, where his tombstone reads: “1885–1954 Herald of the Harlem Renaissance Exponent of Cultural Pluralism”

EDUCATION:

  • Harvard University, B.A. 1907
  • Rhodes Scholar at University of Berlin and Hertford College, 1907-1911
  • Harvard University, Ph.D 1918

 

ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

  • As guest editor for a periodical called Survey Graphic in 1925, Locke expanded the issue to create a collection of writings from African Americans titled The New Negro, which is now credited as the “first national book” of African America
  • Elementary schools are named after him in New York, Los Angeles, Indiana, Chicago and West Philadelphia
  • Locke Hall at Howard University named after him
    Professor at Howard University who encouraged students to look to Africa for inspiration of their works
  • Recipient of prestigious Bowdoin prize from Phi Beta Kappa fraternity

 

FINAL WORD: In March 1986, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “We’re going to let our children know that the only philosophers that lived were not Plato and Aristotle, but W. E. B. Du Bois and Alain Locke came through the universe.”

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Recent Tweets
@THEPHILACITIZEN

@thephilacitizen @@thephilacitizen
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
Here are 16 things we can do in Philadelphia to make our worlds a little brighter in light of the recent tragedies. https://t.co/ublgupwH56 
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
"You can’t have it both ways any longer." Guest commentary on Trump and the state of his party. https://t.co/sv4kjLxLIP 
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
.@onwurd weighs in on problematic statues and their rightful place in America. Via @ellisonreport https://t.co/sKdIlcfQAc 
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
"Which House or Senate leader is willing to make a statement repudiating Trump?" Guest commentator @coachsethberger https://t.co/sv4kjLxLIP 
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
"Perhaps the more unfortunate thing is the lack of any historical context in the removal of statues." @ellisonreport https://t.co/sKdIlcfQAc 
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
Last night someone defaced the #rizzostatue. The Citizen takes a look back at the play about the former mayor. https://t.co/R0qlO2DgoY 
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
Guest Commentator Seth Berger wonders where we go from here after #Trump's backpedal on condemning the Alt-right.… https://t.co/XTswcVGTJS 
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
.@onwurd ’s afternoon hosts wonder how much those doing the debating over the Rizzo statue actually know. #OnWurdhttps://t.co/0yacMntiuR 
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
A comprehensive list of actions we can take in the wake of the events of Charlottesville. #UnitedWeStand #Philly https://t.co/ublgupOhWE 
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
"Let’s distinguish ourselves from Trump by being the anti-moral equivalence city." @platt_larry on #Trump & #Rizzo https://t.co/OXVyTI9DZS 
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
Friday join @UACoalition in celebrating 1,400 youth successfully completing summer jobs and internships! https://t.co/xY40nTcjlp 
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
Celebrate, learn and engage with Caribbean culture this Sun at the Philadelphia Caribbean Festival @penns_landing. https://t.co/mJyawYIF1Z 
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
Click link to review the agenda and regulations for tonight's SRC meeting at the Phila School District HQ, 4:30. https://t.co/hSJ8ija8wM 
The Citizen
@thephilacitizen
The Citizen has 16 ways to turn your horror over what happened in Charlottesville into action and support in Philly… https://t.co/D0giDHT9Q0 

LOAD MORE

Be a Citizen Editor

Suggest a Story