Alain Leroy Locke Biography

explanatory Essay
733 words
733 words

"Much of the creative work of the period was guided by the ideal of the Negro which signified

a range of ethical ideals that often emphasize and intensified a higher sense of group and social

cohesiveness... The writers ... literally expected liberation .... from their work and were perhaps

the first group of Afro- American writers to believe that art could radically transform the artist and

attitudes of other human beings".

- Dictionary of Literacy Biography

Alain Leroy Locke was on born on September 13 1886 in Philadelphia ,Pennsylvania to Mr. And

Mrs.Pliny Ishmael Locke and Mary Hawkinns Locke, as the only child he grew up in Philadelphia and

attended Central High School and attended the Philadelphia ‘s School of Pedagogy, and later on in

Locke life he attended Harvard in 1904 where he graduated in 1907 with a outstanding

academic record that he became a member of Phi Beta Kappa. After graduating form Harvard, he

studied for three years from 1907 -1910 at Oxford University in England as the first black

Rhodes Scholar . While graduating from Oxford, he spent a year and the University of Berlin,

Pursuing advanced work in Philosophy. Locke began his career at Howard University in 1912

as an Assistant Professor of English and Philosophy. Locke was soon briefly broken in 1916 to

pursue a Doctorate Degree at Harvard University, eventually getting that degree in 1918 , Locke

returned to Howard as a Professor of Philosophy and remained at the University until he retired

in 1952.

Locke ‘s involvement with the Renaissance touched a number of areas. Not only was he

involved with the visual arts and literature, but he was directly involved with the theater movement

through his association with the Theater Arts Monthly the Howard University Players (one of the

earliest Little Theater Groups among African Americans.)and with his collaboration with

Montgomery Gregory. One Such collaboration with Gregory resulted in the drama anthology,

Plays of Negro Life in 1927.

To varying degrees, Locke encouraged young black writers, scholar, and artists of the

In this essay, the author

  • Explains the first group of afro-american writers to believe that art could radically transform the artist.
  • Narrates how he served as a mentor to many of them, and his philosophy of the new negro movement.
  • Describes the manifesto of the african american movement.
  • Explains that contemporary negro life became the most widely read issue in the magazine's history.
  • Explains that much of the creative work was guided by the ideal of negro, which signified ethical ideals that often emphasize and intensified a higher sense of group and social
  • Explains that alain leroy locke was born on september 13 1886 in philadelphia, pennsylvania to mr. and mrs.pliny ishmael and mary hawkinns
  • Narrates how locke was briefly broken in 1916 to pursue a doctorate degree at harvard university, eventually getting that degree in 1918. he returned to howard as professor of philosophy and remained there until he retired.
  • Explains that locke's involvement with the renaissance touched a number of areas.
  • Explains that locke believed that the profound changes in the american negro had to do with the freeing of himself from the fictions of his past and the rediscovery of self.
  • Opines that locke could not promise that the race would win the long-desired end of the material progress, but the enrichment of life through art and letters would be an ample achievement.
  • Explains that young writers who were a part of this anthology would drive the harlem renaissance by focusing on the african american roots of black art and music.
  • Opines that the black artist should draw from the roots of his african heritage for themes reflected in his works.
  • Explains locke's definition of the africanists or neoprimitives.
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