Alain LeRoy Locke Analysis


Harris, Leonard and Charles Molesworth. Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher. Chicago: University of Chicago, 2008. The focus of this biography is Locke’s writing, and his significance as a prominent figure in the Harlem Renaissance and as one of the great African American intellectuals. However, his personal life is also discussed in detail, including his childhood, education, work, and political views. This book is essential for anyone interested in Locke or the Harlem Renaissance.

Harris, Leonard, ed. The Critical Pragmatism of Alain Locke. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, 1999. A wide-ranging collection of essays on Locke’s philosophical, aesthetic, and sociological contributions.

Huggins, Nathan Irvin. Harlem Renaissance. New York: Oxford University Press, 1971. An overview of the time and place.

Lewis, David Levering. When Harlem Was in Vogue. 1981. Reprint. New York: Penguin, 1997. Perhaps the best evocation of the Harlem Renaissance.

Linnemann, Russell J., ed. Alain Locke: Reflections on a Modern Renaissance Man. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1982. A collection of essays detailing Locke’s achievements in fields from philosophy to folklore. Includes a selected bibliography of Locke’s works.

Mason, Ernest D. “Alain Locke.” In Afro-American Writers from the Harlem Renaissance to 1940, edited by Trudier Harris and Thadious M. Davis. Vol. 51 in Dictionary of Literary Biography. Detroit: Gale Research, 1987. Discusses the influence on Locke of William James, Ralph Barton Perry, and Josiah Royce, his Harvard philosophy professors, and offers an account of Locke’s philosophical differences with Claude McKay, one of the poets anthologized in The New Negro.

Posnock, Ross. Color and Culture: Black Writers and the Making of the Modern Intellectual. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1998. Contrasts the philosophies of Locke and W. E. B. Du Bois regarding the concept of a black intelligentsia.

Stewart, Jeffery. Alain Locke: A Primary and Secondary Bibliography. New York: Garland, 1990. Useful resource to works by and about Locke.

Wolters, Raymond. The New Negro on Campus. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1975. Contains a chapter entitled “James Stanley Durkee and the Rising Tide of Color at Howard University,” which discusses Locke’s academic career, especially his efforts to broaden Howard’s curriculum to include classes on African American culture.