Chapter

The Final Years

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226317809.003.0012
The Final Years

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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

Chapter.  9598 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literature

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