* Leonard Harris
* "Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher:"
* Alain Locke Society
* Philosophy Born of Struggle

January 6, 2009

New biography features the father of the Harlem Renaissance

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A new biography highlights the life of Alain L. Locke, the father of the Harlem Renaissance credited with promoting and influencing famous African-American artists such as Langston Hughes, Zora N. Hurston and William G. Still.

"Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher," is written by Leonard Harris, Purdue University professor of philosophy, and Charles Molesworth, professor of English at Queens College, City of the University of New York. The book ($45) was published in December by The University of Chicago Press.

Locke is best known for editing the 1925 anthology, "The New Negro." He also was the first African-American Rhodes Scholar to study at Oxford and was a professor of philosophy at Howard University from 1912 to 1954. W.E.B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington also were among Locke's associates.

"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," Harris says. "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 and critical pragmatism."

Writer: Amy Patterson Neubert, (765) 494-9723,

Source: Leonard Harris, (765) 496-3860,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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