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Alain Leroy Locke
B i o b i b l i o g r a p h y


[Interim Edition]

        ALAIN LEROY LOCKE was born in Philadelphia on September 13, 1886 to Pliny Ishmael Locke and Mary Hawkins Locke. The young Alain attended the Central High School of Philadelphia and the School of Pedagogy. Entering Harvard College in 1904, he studied under the celebrated faculty in philosophy that included Josiah Royce, Hugo Munsterberg, George Santayana, and William James. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and named a Rhodes Scholar in 1907. Locke pursued studies at Hertford college, Oxford University, from 1907 to 1910, and at the University of Berlin for the academic year, 1910-1911. He received the Ph.D. degree from Harvard in 1918 in philosophy after a successful defense of his dissertation on "Problems of Classification in Theory of Value."
        Locke's career as a teacher began at Howard University in 1912 and extended over a period of forty-one years. In 1921, he became Head of the Department of Philosophy and held this position until his retirement in 1953. In that year, Locke was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters by Howard University.
        His career as a teacher and writer covered a wide range of interests in the humanities and the social sciences. His thinking on social and ethnic problems was informed by a philosophical view which he set forth as cultural pluralism. He was the author and editor of many books, including The New Negro, The Negro in Art and When People Meet: A Study in Race and Cultural Contacts (with Bernard J. Stern).
        Locke had a significant part in the development of the curriculum of the College of Liberal Arts at Howard University, particularly the program in general education. He advanced the study of philosophy, both as an independent discipline and as an ally with the social sciences in the analysis of social problems. He was one of the founders of Gamma Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa at Howard University.
        Locke was the architect of the New Negro Movement and the Harlem Renaissance, the focus of which was the promotion of black art and culture. His philosophical interests were focused primarily on three issues: values and valuation; cultural pluralism; and race relations. On cultural pluralism, Locke's view can be summarized thus: each culture group has its own identity and it is entitled to protect and promote it. In the particular context of America, the claim to cultural identity need not conflict with the claim to American citizenship. On race relations, Locke felt that if we can do away with prejudice and pride, we might be able to reconcile nationalism and internationalism, racialism and universalism.
        The National Conference on Philosophy and Race is a celebration of Locke's life and contributions to philosophy in general, and Africana philosophy in particular on the 80th anniversary of his receipt of the Ph.D. degree in philosophy from Harvard. 



The Negro in America (bibliography). Chicago: American Library Association, 1933.

The Negro and his music.Washington, DC: The Associates in Negro folk education, 1936; reprinted, Port Washington, NY: Kennikat Press, 1968. Also reprinted with Negro art: Past and Present (New York: Arno Press, 1969).

Negro art: Past and present [microform]. Washington, DC: Associates in Negro Folk Education, 1936.

Negro art: Past and present. Washington, DC: Associates in Negro folk education, 1936. Also published with The Negro and his music (New York: Arno Press, 1969).

Le Role du Nègre dans la culture des Amériques, conférences. Port-au-Prince, Haïti: Impr. de l'Etat, 1943.

World view on race and democracy: A study guide in human group relations. Chicago, American library association, 1943.

Diversity within national unity. Washington, DC: The National Council for the Social Studies, the National Education Association, 1945.

Race contacts and interracial relations: Lectures on the theory and practice of race, edited and with an introduction by Jeffrey C. Stewart; foreword by Michael R.Winston; preface by Thomas C. Battle. Washington, DC: Howard University Press, 1992.


The new negro: An interpretation (anthology), illustrations by Winold Reiss. New York: A. and C. Boni, 1925; reprinted, New York: Arno Press, 1968; reprinted with a new introd. by Allan H. Spear (New York, Johnson Reprints Corp., 1968). Reprinted with new preface by Robert Hayden (New York, Atheneum, 1970), with an introduction by Arnold Rampersad (New York: Atheneum; Toronto: Maxwell Macmillan Canada; New York: Maxwell Macmillan International, 1992)

Plays of negro life: A source-book of native American drama. New York and London, Harper & brothers, 1927.

Four negro poets...  New York: Simon & Schuster, 1927.

A decade of Negro self-expression, comp. by Alain Locke, with a foreword by Howard W. Odum. Charlottesville, VA: 1928.

When peoples meet: A study in race and culture contacts, edited with Bernard J. Stern. New York: Committee on Workshops, Progressive Education Association [c1942; revised edition, New York: Hinds, Hayden & Eldredge, 1946.

Plays of Negro life: A source-book of native American drama. Selected and edited by Alain Locke and Montgomery Gregory. Decorations and illus. by Aaron Douglas. New York & London: Harper & Brothers, 1927. "Bibliography of Negro drama", 424-430. Reprinted, Westport, CT: Negro Universities Press, 1970.

The Negro in art: A pictorial record of the Negro artist and of the Negro theme in art, edited and annotated by Alain Locke. Washington, DC: Associates in Negro folk education, 1940; New York: Hacker Art Books, 1971.

The Problem of classification in the theory of value, 1918

The Negro in American Literature, 1929

Frederick Douglas: A biography of anti-slavery, 1935


Butcher, Margaret Just. The Negro in American culture, based on materials left by Alain Locke. New York: Knopf, 1957, c1956.

Harris, Leonard, ed. The Philosophy of Alain Locke: Harlem renaissance and beyond. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1989.

Linnemann, Russell J., ed. Alain Locke: Reflections on a modern Renaissance man. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, c1982.

Stewart, Jeffrey C., ed. The Critical temper of Alain Locke: A selection of his essays on art and culture. [edited by]  New York : Garland Pub., 1983.


Braithwaite, William Stanley. Alain Locke's Relationship to the Negro in American Literature. Wintz-Cary-D. (ed.). Remembering the Harlem Renaissance, 420-27. New York, NY : Garland, 1996.

---------. The Negro in American Literature. Mitchell-Angelyn (ed.), Within the Circle: An Anthology of African American Literary Criticism from the Harlem Renaissance to the Present, 32-44. Durham, NC : Duke University Press, 1994.

Burgett, Paul Joseph. Aesthetics of the music of Afro-Americans : A critical analysis of the writings of selected black scholars with implications for black music studies and for music education. Presented by Paul Joseph Burgett. Published: 1976. Bibliography, 316-320.

Crane, Clare Bloodgood. Alain Locke and the Negro Renaissance. 1971. Bibliography, 232-247.

Days, Everett Alston. Alain LeRoy Locke (1886-1954) [microform]: Pioneer in adult education and catalyst in the adult education movement for black Americans. Thesis (Ed. D.)--North Carolina State University at Raleigh, 1978. Bibliography, 143-151.

Fauset,-Jessie. The Gift of Laughter. Mitchell-Angelyn (ed.). Within the Circle: An Anthology of African American Literary Criticism from the Harlem Renaissance to the Present, 45-50. Durham, NC : Duke University Press, 1994.

Harris, Leonard, ed. The Philosophy of Alain Locke: Harlem Renaissance and beyond. Philadelphia : Temple University Press, 1989. Bibliography, 301-325.

Irek, Malgorzata. From Berlin to Harlem: Felix von Luschan, Alain Locke, and the New Negro. Sollors-Werner (ed.); Diedrich-Maria (ed.). The Black Columbiad: Defining moments in African American literature and culture, 174-84. Cambridge, MA : Harvard University Press, 1994.

Johnson, Charles S. The Negro Renaissance and Its Significance. Wintz-Cary-D. (ed.). Remembering the Harlem Renaissance, 226-34. New York, NY : Garland, 1996.

Kraft, Eugene, rev. The Philosophy of Alain Locke (book review). CLA Journal 34, September 1990: 108-11.

Linnemann, Russell J., ed. Alain Locke: Reflections on a modern Renaissance man. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, c1982. Notes: "Selected bibliography of the works of Alain Locke", 133-136.
Alain Locke's philosophy of value / Ernest D. Mason --The philosophical anthropology of Alain Locke / William B. Harvey -- Relativism and pluralism in the social thought of Alain Locke / Rutledge M. Dennis-- The politics of Alain Locke / A. Gilbert Belles -- Alain Locke, W.E.B. Du Bois, and the crisis of Black education during the Great Depression / Manning Marable --Toward an aesthetic of Black folk expression / Rebecca T. Cureau -- Alain Locke and the honest propaganda of truth and beauty / George Hall -- Alain Locke and the sense of the African legacy / James B. Barnes -- Alain Locke's theory of the origins and nature of jazz / Russell J. Linnemann -- Alain Locke on Black folk music / Patricia L. Hill.

Logan, Rayford W. et al., eds. The new Negro thirty years afterward; papers contributed to the sixteenth annual spring conference... April 20, 21, and 22, 1955. Howard University. Graduate School. Division of the Social Sciences. Edited by Rayford W. Logan, chairman, Eugene C. Holmes [and] G. Franklin Edwards. Published: Washington, Howard University Press, 1955 [i. e. 1956] Notes: "Dedicated to the memory of Professor Alain Locke." Includes bibliographies. "Bibliography of the writings of Alain Leroy Locke ... by Robert E. Martin", 89-96.

Lott, Tommy Lee. Nationalism and pluralism in Alain Locke's Social Philosophy. Foster-Lawrence (ed.); Herzog-Patricia (ed.). Contemporary philosophical perspectives on pluralism and multiculturalism: Defending diversity, 103-19. Amherst : University of Massachusetts Press, 1994.

Mason, Ernest Douglas. Alain Locke's philosophy of value: An introduction. Atlanta : [s.n.], 1975.

Michaels, Walter Benn; Rhodes, Chip, rev. Our America (book review). Modern Fiction-Studies 43, Summer 1997: 432-49.

McGary, Howard, rev. The Philosophy of Alain Locke (book review). Ethics 101, October 1990: 195-6.

Napier, Winston. Affirming critical conceptualism: Harlem Renaissance aesthetics and the formation of Alain Locke's social philosophy. The Massachusetts Review  39, no.1 Spring 1998: 93-112.

Ochillo, Yvonne. The Race-consciousness of Alain Locke. Phylon 47, September 1986: 173-81.

Shirley, Wayne D. William Grant Still's choral ballad and they lynched him on a tree. American Music 12, Winter 1994: 425-61.

Spillers, Hortense J. Race and identity. Jeffrey Stewart and Hortense Spillers. Historical companions. Laurel Ulrich, John A. Garraty [sound disc]. Research Triangle Park, NC: National Humanities Center, 1992.

Stewart, Jeffrey C. A Black aesthete at Oxford. The Massachusetts Review 34, Autumn 1993: 411-28.

---------, ed. The Critical temper of Alain Locke: A selection of his essays on art and culture. New York: Garland Pub., 1983.

Story, Ralph D. Patronage and the Harlem Renaissance: You get what you pay for. CLA-Journal 32, March 1989: 284-95.

Thomas, Lorenzo. The Bop aesthetic and black intellectual tradition. Library Chronicle of the University of Texas 24, no. 1-2, 1994: 104-17. 

Verharen, Charles C. The New World and the dreams to which it may give rise: An African and American response to Hegel's challenge. Journal of Black Studies 27 March 1997: 456-93.

Walker, Clarence E., rev. The philosophy of Alain Locke (book review). African-American-Review 26, Winter 1992: 675-82. .

Washington, Johnny. Alain Locke and philosophy: A quest for cultural pluralism. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, c1986. Notes: Bibliography: p. [227]-237.

---------. A Journey into the philosophy of Alain Locke / Johnny Washington. Published: Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1994. Series: Contributions in Afro-American and African studies. Notes: Includes bibliographical references, 199-213.
Part I: Ethnic Identity and Conflicts. 1. Destiny: The Views of Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. DuBois, and Alain Locke. 2. The African American Elite, Destiny, and the Transformation of History. 3. African Americans' Cultural Contributions to the Three Americas. 4. "Black" or "African American": What's in a Name? 5. The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington. 6. Criteria of Race: An Anthropological Perspective. 7. Race, Ethnicity, and Culture. 8. Racial Dilemmas and Paradoxes. 9. Racial Integration or Segregation: Which Is Desirable? 10. Social Insanity.
     Part II: Value Relativism. 11. Moral Virtues in Elementary Schools. 12. Norms and the Social Realm: Alain Locke, John Dewey, and Henri Bergson. 13. A General Theory of Value Relativism. 14. The Nature and Dynamics of Values.

---------; Thompson, S. L., rev. A journey into the philosophy of Alain Locke (book review). Journal of the History of Philosophy 33, October 1995: 703-5.

---------; Lott, Tommy Lee, rev. A Journey into the philosophy of Alain Locke (book review). American Studies 36, Fall 1995: 205-6.

Related sites
American Philosophical Association. Blacks in Philosophy


© 1998 Howard University, all rights reserved.
Researched by Mohamed Mekkawi and Segun Gbadegesin.
Published on WWW by Howard University Libraries on the occasion of
National Conference on Philosophy and Race
Held at Howard University, Washington, DC
September 18-20, 1998.
Sponsored by Howard University and
The American Philosophical Association / Committee Department of Philosophy on Blacks in Philosophy
Photo: Courtesy of the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, Howard University. The Alain Locke Papers are housed in the Manuscript Department.

© 2001 Howard University, all rights reserved.
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