Alain L. Locke arrived at Harvard University with considerable ambition, after two years at the School of Pedagogy, but even he did not foresee that in his senior year, as the first African American winner of a Rhodes Scholarship, he would become the object of national attention. Harvard aided in the intensity of that attention. In the opening decade of the twentieth century, the college could be seen as one of the birthplaces of modern culture. Locke's letters home are almost completely free of anxiety; indeed, he seems to the manor born in the way he was able to take full advantage of the literary and cultural life that the college abundantly supplied. At the same time, however, Locke was to discover new facets of his racial identity and to set in motion ideas and concerns that would lead him in a direction quite distinct from the vast majority of his classmates.
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