By Leonard Harris
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Additional info for Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher
Have greater care of his personal conduct than he who has no such ancestry. . [T]he extreme of such pride is a haughty overbearing air but this is less harmful to both individual and society than one which is laxly democratic. (ALPHU 164-152/9) Soon the word “ancestry” will return in Locke’s personal lexicon, and this passage reveals how he was able to write about himself while at the same time pretending to objectivity. Not all of Locke’s work at the School of Pedagogy was to remain unpublished.
This had something to do with the long-standing Philadelphian tradition of privacy. 13 These generalizations might not apply directly to the African American community, of course, but they would set a standard of social values of which even the Lockes would be aware. And since Locke uses a vocabulary of family life that reflects some of these principles, it is apparent, in an important sense, that he was a true Philadelphian. Locke’s relationship with his mother grew and deepened and solidified over the years.
I am going to be choice [sic] and pick my company,” he told his mother, announcing a determination that continued to grow. He never lacked for ambition, no matter how much his desire to be prominent and respected was mediated through a commitment to education and service. Though Locke came with strong recommendations from Dr. Brandt, his teacher and mentor at the School of Pedagogy, now he was to meet the teachers who had taught—and inspired and measured—the man who had taught him. Cambridge was not all completely new territory for him.