Sep. 12, 2020

Happy Birthday Alain Leroy Locke Father of the Harlem Renaissance

Alain Locke (1886-1954) was born and raised in Philadelphia. He graduated from Harvard and continued his studies in Europe as the first African American Rhodes Scholar. After teaching English at Howard University for four years, he returned to Harvard in 1916 to begin work on a Ph.D. in philosophy, which he obtained in 1918. He rejoined the Howard faculty and taught there until his retirement in 1953. In 1925 he edited a special edition of the magazine Survey Graphic, devoted exclusively to the life of Harlem. He later expanded it into an anthology, The New Negro, which became the manifesto of the Harlem Renaissance, or as some critics prefer to call it, the New Negro Movement. In the essay provided here Locke captures the hope and optimism of a people who have discovered "a new vision of opportunity." 135 years ago today Alain Locke was born to rise into intellectual glory. Alain Locke May have had peculiar lifestyle ways but no person could ever question his intellectual brilliance.