“Negro life is not only establishing new contacts and founding new centers, it is finding a new soul. There is a fresh spiritual and cultural focusing. We have, as the heralding sign, an unusual outburst of creative expression. There is a renewed race-spirit that consciously and proudly sets itself apart. Justifiably then, we speak of the offerings of this book embodying these ripening forces as culled from the first fruits of the Negro Renaissance.” – Alain Locke, Washington, DC, November, 1925
September 13 marks the birth of Alain Locke in 1885. Dr. Locke was an African-American philosopher, intellectual and educator credited with defining the New Negro Movement and Harlem Renaissance. Born into Philadelphia’s Black elite, Alain Leroy Locke was the only child of an established free Black family. By high school, he was an accomplished pianist and violinist. In 1907, Locke received a B.A. in philosophy magna cum laude from Harvard University.
That same year Locke became the first African American to be awarded a Rhodes Scholarship, which he used to further his study of philosophy at Oxford University and the University of Berlin. Locke returned to the United States in 1911, and in 1912, joined the faculty of Howard University as a professor of philosophy and of English, a position he held for the remainder of his life. Dr. Locke died in 1954.
Read more about Dr. Alain Leroy Locke at Howard University.
The Akosua Report: Facts on The African Diaspora, is written by Akosua Lowery. Follow her on Twitter @AkosuaLowery.