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Alain L. LockeThe Biography of a Philosopher$
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Leonard Harris and Charles Molesworth

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780226317762

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226317809.001.0001

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: The Lockes of Philadelphia

: The Lockes of Philadelphia

(p.5) Chapter One: The Lockes of Philadelphia
Alain L. Locke
University of Chicago Press

This chapter focuses on Alain L. Locke's family roots in Philadelphia. Family tradition had it that Locke had attended Cambridge University, although there is no evidence of his matriculation. His ethical sense and his notions of personal propriety were shaped by the city into which he was born. Philadelphia was in 1900 one of the world's ten most populous cities, with a population of approximately 1.3 million people; the 1890 census recorded 39,371 blacks, or about six percent of the total. The city was known as a center not only of Unionist sentiment but also of Abolitionist activity. As such, it offered its black population relatively better treatment that many other cities in the northeast. However, all was not peaceful; there had been anti-black rioting in 1865, and a resultant Jim Crow law forbade blacks to ride in horsecars, although this ordinance was overturned in the 1870s.

Keywords:   Alain L. Locke, Philadelphia, Cambridge University, ethical sense, personal propriety, Unionist sentiment, Abolitionist activity, blacks, Jim Crow

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