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(p.1) Introduction
Alain L. Locke
University of Chicago Press

This chapter focuses on the life and works of Alain L. Locke, who, in 1948, near the end of his teaching career—and near the end of his life—was asked to teach at the New School in New York City. Given virtual carte blanche, Locke offered three courses directly connected to his life's work: “The Philosophy of Value,” “Race Relations,” and “The Philosophy of Aesthetic Experience.” His accomplishments were numerous: he was the first African American to win a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University, he was a leader in the New Negro movement, and he produced a formative commentary on African American literature and the arts. Locke championed African art as a source of aesthetic inspiration, and his philosophical papers on cultural pluralism, democracy, and value theory influenced readers in diverse fields. The three subjects of race, culture, and value are the organizing principles of his intellectual life.

Keywords:   Alain L. Locke, New Negro movement, cultural pluralism, democracy, value theory, race, culture, value, African American literature, African art

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