: The Lockes of Philadelphia

in Alain L. Locke

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2008 | ISBN: 9780226317762
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226317809 | DOI:
: The Lockes of Philadelphia

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This chapter focuses on Alain L. Locke's family roots in Philadelphia. Family tradition had it that Locke had attended Cambridge University, although there is no evidence of his matriculation. His ethical sense and his notions of personal propriety were shaped by the city into which he was born. Philadelphia was in 1900 one of the world's ten most populous cities, with a population of approximately 1.3 million people; the 1890 census recorded 39,371 blacks, or about six percent of the total. The city was known as a center not only of Unionist sentiment but also of Abolitionist activity. As such, it offered its black population relatively better treatment that many other cities in the northeast. However, all was not peaceful; there had been anti-black rioting in 1865, and a resultant Jim Crow law forbade blacks to ride in horsecars, although this ordinance was overturned in the 1870s.

Keywords: Alain L. Locke; Philadelphia; Cambridge University; ethical sense; personal propriety; Unionist sentiment; Abolitionist activity; blacks; Jim Crow

Chapter.  9535 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literature

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