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Howard: The Early Years

Howard: The Early Years

Chapter:
(p.107) Chapter Four Howard: The Early Years
Source:
Alain L. Locke
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226317809.003.0005

Alain L. Locke's entry into the academy as a professor initiated what would be a forty-year experience, rich with many rewards and scarred with more than a few frustrations and defeats. He never let the difficulties erode his genuine delight in instructing young minds. Howard University, however, seemed to Locke almost like a consummation devoutly to be avoided. His emphasis on a personal choice is foregrounded, but still he must bear up against the tyrannical circumstances, even though they seem to affect his folk more than himself. Locke's racial identity has become a corollary of other choices, but it also has been deliberately made. As if writing a capsule Bildungsroman, Locke tells the familiar story of how the main protagonist has become that most startling character: himself. Heredity and environment have become virtually inseparable.

Keywords:   Alain L. Locke, Howard University, professor, racial identity, heredity, environment

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