Alain Locke was a writer, philosopher, and educator. He was the first black Rhodes Scholar.
Locke was born on September 13, 1885 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Philadelphia Central High in 1902. He graduated from Harvard University in 1907, with degrees in both philosophy and literature.
He was chosen as the first African American Rhodes scholar. He was denied admissions to different colleges due to his race. He was accepted into Hertford College in 1907.
He promoted African American artists, musicians, and writers. He also encouraged them to find inspiration when producing work.
In March of 1925, Locked was the guest editor of the periodical survey graphic, titled “Harlem, Mecca of the New Negro”. It was special on the Harlem Renaissance, which helped educate whites on its culture.
Locke’s writing focused on the identity of the African American. He published the New Negro in 1925, and it instantly became a classic.
He has been named the Father of the Renaissance, due to his part in the development of the movement.
Locke died on June 9, 1954, in New York. He suffered a heart attack.