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date: 11 April 2021

Locke, Alain Leroy locked

1885–1954 African American philosopher, intellectual, and educator; editor of The New Negro, the anthology credited with defining the Harlem Renaissance.
  • Lisa Clayton Robinson

Extract

In his introduction to Alain Locke: Reflections on a Modern Renaissance Man, Russell J. Linnemann points out that although Alain Locke was trained as a philosopher at Harvard, Oxford, and Berlin Universities, “anthropology, art, music, literature, education, political theory, sociology, and African studies represent only a few of his wide range of intellectual pursuits.” Linnemann goes on to hypothesize that this extraordinary breadth of intellectual activity is “the primary reason why a biography of him has not yet been written … few if any potential biographers who might wish to examine the scope of his thought, assess his often provocative contributions, and place them within the context of the appropriate disciplines, would have the intellectual breadth or depth to fulfill the task properly.” The title of Linnemann's edited volume gets to the heart of Alain Locke's legacy: While he is often best remembered for his role in the Harlem ...

A version of this article originally appeared in Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African American Experience.

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