2018 National Book Award Longlist, Nonfiction

Jeffrey C. Stewart

The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke by Jeffrey C. Stewart
The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke
(Oxford University Press)
ISBN: 9780195089578

ABOUT THE BOOK (from the publisher)

In The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke, Jeffrey C. Stewart offers the definitive biography of the father of the Harlem Renaissance, based on the extant primary sources of his life and on interviews with those who knew him personally. He narrates the education of Locke, including his becoming the first African American Rhodes Scholar and earning a PhD in philosophy at Harvard University, and his long career as a professor at Howard University. Locke also received a cosmopolitan, aesthetic education through his travels in continental Europe, where he came to appreciate the beauty of art and experienced a freedom unknown to him in the United States. And yet he became most closely associated with the flowering of Black culture in Jazz Age America and his promotion of the literary and artistic work of African Americans as the quintessential creations of American modernism. In the process he looked to Africa to find the proud and beautiful roots of the race. Shifting the discussion of race from politics and economics to the arts, he helped establish the idea that Black urban communities could be crucibles of creativity. Stewart explores both Locke's professional and private life, including his relationships with his mother, his friends, and his white patrons, as well as his lifelong search for love as a gay man.



About the Author

Jeffrey C. Stewart is a professor of Black Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author of Paul Robeson: Artist and Citizen and 1001 Things Everyone Should Know About African American History.




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