“If I were inventing a religion, I would try to work out some beautifully ritualistic mode of reciprocal confession and make all the conception of punishment and reward psychological and self-inflicted.” — Alain Locke, letter to Countee Cullen, 1923
The life and times of Alain Locke—philosopher, writer, editor, professor, the first African American Rhodes scholar, and “dean” of the Harlem Renaissance—have been told by Jeffrey C. Stewart in his new book THE NEW NEGRO—THE LIFE OF ALAIN LOCKE.
“Unlike many of his colleagues and rivals in the black freedom struggle of the early 20th century, Locke, a trailblazer of the Harlem Renaissance, believed that art and the Great Migration, not political protest, were the keys to black progress. Black Americans would only forge a new and authentic sense of themselves, he argued, by pursuing artistic excellence and insisting on physical mobility.” — Michael P. Jeffries
This week, Stewart joins musician, poet, playwright, novelist, and essayist Carl Hancock Rux for a public discussion about “black genius, cultural pluralism, and the legacy of Locke and his pioneering ideas.”
Wednesday, February 28, at 7:30 pm.
Billy Wilder Theater, Hammer Museum
10899 Wilshire Boulevard, Westwood, Los Angeles.
Above: Jeffrey C. Stewart and Catherine Czacki outside the Mansuy house in Giverny, France in 2015 during the Terra Summer Residency.
Below: Winold Reiss, Alain Locke. Image credit: National Portrait Gallery.