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Works by
Alain Locke
(aka  Alain Leroy Locke)

(Writer)
[1886 - 1954]

Profile created December 24, 2006
See also:
  • The Negro in American Culture (1956) by Margaret J. Butcher

  • Alain Locke: Reflections on a Modern Renaissance Man (1982) by Russell J. Linnemann

  • Alain Locke and Philosophy: A Quest for Cultural Pluralism  (1986) by Johnny Washington
    Washington provides the first systematic critical look at the life and work of Alain Locke, an important American philosopher, in the context of a thoroughgoing analysis of the values, ideals, aspirations, and problems of the Black community. Alain Locke contributed significantly to the twentieth-century dialogue on ethics and society. Drawing particularly on the work of William James and Josiah Royce, Locke was perhaps the first to bring philosophy to bear on the problems of race relations and social justice in a multiracial society. He argued that racial problems in the United States stem from the fact that white Americans hold up their values as the only controlling and only acceptable model, to which other groups are forced to conform. First discussing what is meant by "Black philosophy" and what its concerns include, the author examines Locke's philosophic interpretation of Black America's historical experience, contributions to culture, and struggles for social justice. He provides a critique of Locke's model of the political community, with special reference to the work of Hannah Arendt. Looking at the impact of Locke, DuBois, and others on the Black community, he discusses their relation to the "Black Elite," their encouragement of Black artists and their positions on educational issues such as teaching Black history, parity for Blacks, and school desegregation. Other subjects considered are the "New Negro," the Harlem Renaissance, African art and culture, and Locke's views in light of changes that have occurred since his death in 1954. An important work on a philosopher whose insights are of continuing significance today, this book will be of interest for Afro-American studies, as well as for courses on American philosophy and American social and intellectual history.

  • Philosophy of Alain Locke: Harlem Renaissance and Beyond (1989) by Leonard Harris
    This collection of essays by American philosopher Alain Locke (1885-1954) makes readily available for the first time his important writings on cultural pluralism, value relativism, and critical relativism. As a black philosopher early in this century, Locke was a pioneer: having earned both undergraduate and doctoral degrees at Harvard, he was a Rhodes scholar at Oxford, studied at the University of Berlin, and chaired the Philosophy Department at Howard University for almost four decades. He was perhaps best known as a leading figure in the Harlem Renaissance.

    Locke’s works in philosophy—many previously unpublished—conceptually frame the Harlem Renaissance and New Negro movement and provide an Afro-American critique of pragmatism and value absolutism, and also offer a view of identity, communicative competency, and contextualism. In addition, his major works on the nature of race, race relations, and the role of race-conscious literature are presented to demonstrate the application of his philosophy. Locke’s commentaries on the major philosophers of his day, including James, Royce, Santayana, Perry, and Ehrenfels help tell the story of his relationship to his former teachers and his theoretical affinities.

    In his substantial Introduction and interpretive concluding chapter, Leonard Harris describes Locke’s life, evaluates his role as an American philosopher and theoretician of the Harlem Renaissance, situates him in the pragmatist tradition, and outlines his affinities with modern deconstructionist ideas. A chronology of the philosopher’s life and bibliography of his works are also provided. Although much has been written about Alain Locke, this is the first book to focus on his philosophical contributions.

  • Alain Locke: A Primary and Secondary Bibliography (1990) by Jeffrey Stewart

  • A Journey into the Philosophy of Alain Locke (1994) by Johnny Washington
    Washington provides a detailed guide to the philosophy of Alain Locke, one of the most influential African American thinkers of our time. The work gives special attention to what Washington calls "Destiny Studies," an approach which allows a people to concentrate on their past, present, and future possibilities, and to view the experience of a race as a coherent unity, rather than a set of fragmented historical happenings. In providing a broad vision of Locke's ideas, Washington considers the views of Booker T. Washington and his contemporaries, the theories of anthropologists concerning race and ethnicity, and many of the social issues current in our own age. By doing so, Washington affirms the importance of Locke as a philosopher and demonstrates the impact of Locke on the destiny of African Americans

  • Color and Culture (1998) by Ross Posnock
    The coining of the term "intellectuals" in 1898 coincided with W. E. B. Du Bois's effort to disseminate values and ideals unbounded by the color line. Du Bois's ideal of a "higher and broader and more varied human culture" is at the heart of a cosmopolitan tradition that Color and Culture identifies as a missing chapter in American literary and cultural history. The book offers a much needed and startlingly new historical perspective on "black intellectuals" as a social category, ranging over a century--from Frederick Douglass to Patricia Williams, from Du Bois, Pauline Hopkins, and Charles Chesnutt to Nella Larsen, Zora Neale Hurston, and Alain Locke, from Ralph Ellison and James Baldwin to Samuel Delany and Adrienne Kennedy. These writers challenge two durable assumptions: that high culture is "white culture" and that racial uplift is the sole concern of the black intellectual.

    The remarkable tradition that this book recaptures, culminating in a cosmopolitan disregard for demands for racial "authenticity" and group solidarity, is strikingly at odds with the identity politics and multicultural movements of our day. In the Du Boisian tradition Posnock identifies a universalism inseparable from the particular and open to ethnicity--an approach with the power to take us beyond the provincialism of postmodern tribalism.

  • The Critical Pragmatism of Alain Locke (1999) by Leonard Harris
    In its comprehensive overview of Alain Locke's pragmatist philosophy this book captures the radical implications of Locke's approach within pragmatism, the critical temper embedded in Locke's works, the central role of power and empowerment of the oppressed.

  • Evolution, History and Destiny: Letters to Alain Locke (1886-1954) and Others (2002) by Johnny Washington

  • Alain Leroy Locke: Race, Culture, and the Education of African American Adults (2003) by Rudolph Alexander Kofi Cain
    This book fills a void in the scholarly treatment of Alain Locke by providing the reader with a comprehensive view of Locke’s vision of mass, and adult, education as instruments for social change. It is representative of the remarkable optimistic manifesto of 1925 in which the "New Negro," by virtue of a cosmopolitan education emphasizing value pluralism, would become a full participant in American culture. This text delineates Locke’s crucial contribution to the philosophy of adult education and provides insights into how he expected others to use his aesthetic, literary, and anthropological theories as instruments for social and political transformation.

  • Alain Locke: Faith and Philosophy (2005) by Christopher Buck

  • The Dilemma of Ethnic Identity: Alain Locke's Vision of Transcultural Societies (2005) by Chielozona Eze

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