sealPurdue News

November 14, 2002

Black Cultural Center sponsors philosophical discussion

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The impact of philosophy on the Harlem Renaissance will be examined when the Black Cultural Center Library at Purdue University sponsors a lecture and book signing by Purdue philosophy professor Leonard Harris.

Harris' lecture, entitled "Harlem Renaissance and Beyond: The Influence of Alain Locke," will be at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 25, in the Black Cultural Center's Multipurpose Room I. It is free and open to the public. After the lecture Harris will sign copies of his book, "The Critical Pragmatism of Alain Locke."

Harris is currently serving as the University Distinguished Visiting Professor at William Patterson University in Wayne, N.J. He also is a nonresident fellow of Harvard University and the book editor for the "Newsletter on Philosophy and the Black Experience." In addition, Harris serves as a graduate faculty member in several Purdue departmental programs including English and philosophy, communications and philosophy, and American studies.

In addition to being affiliated with various research institutions in Brazil, England and America, Harris holds board and executive positions with several professional organizations. He heads the Alain L. Locke Society and the Philosophy Born of Struggle Association.

Harris has edited and authored several works including "American Philosophies" (2002), "Racism" (1999), "Philosophy of Alain Locke: Harlem Renaissance and Beyond" (1999), "Philosophy Born of Struggle: Anthology of Afro-American Philosophy from 1917" (1983) and "Exploitation and Exclusion: Race and Class in Contemporary U.S. Society" (1991). Harris also has written numerous articles for the "International Philosophical Quarterly," the "Presence Africaine" and "Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society Journal."

Harris has lectured and presented papers at the world’s leading institutions of higher education including Oxford University, Cambridge University, the Sorbonne, Harvard University and the University of Brazil. He was a Fulbright Fellow at the University of Addis Ababa in Ethiopia and Markerere University in Uganda.

Locke was born on Sept. 13, 1885, in Philadephia, Pa. He completed his undergraduate and doctoral studies in philosophy at Harvard University. Upon graduation he became the first African-American Rhodes Scholar in 1907.

Locke's edited work, "The New Negro" (1925), served as a source of inspiration for many of the artists who flourished during the Harlem Renaissance. Locke also taught philosophy at Howard University.

CONTACT: Dorothy Washington, BCC librarian, (765) 494-3093,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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