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The Final Years

The Final Years

Chapter:
(p.358) Chapter Eleven The Final Years
Source:
Alain L. Locke
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226317809.003.0012

For more than two decades, Alain L. Locke worked out what might be called a group spiritual autobiography in his year-end reviews. They contain several important themes, such as the need for the Negro novel to be more realistic, and tried repeatedly to take the temperature of an increasingly varied and complex culture. Some of his claims, such as the notion that the integration of black and white writing would one day be more or less complete, were too optimistic by far. Other positions, like the need to see Negro culture as part and parcel of American culture, more likely found widespread approval. The range of books was perhaps the most impressive aspect of the work, though the unfailingly literate writing was equally noteworthy. Like the interchapter commentaries in When Peoples Meet, the total intellectual expression of the year-end reviews taken together forms one of the major achievements of Locke's public life.

Keywords:   Alain L. Locke, autobiography, Negro novel, Negro culture, American culture, When Peoples Meet

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