Alain LeRoy Locke Lectures

The Alain LeRoy Locke Lectures are named after the godfather of the Harlem Renaissance, who, in 1918, became the first African American to earn a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Harvard. These lectures honor the memory and contributions of this noted Harvard scholar who became the first and, until 1963, the only African American to be awarded a Rhodes Scholarship. This series brings a distinguished person to Harvard to deliver lectures on a topic related to the field of African American culture and history. Previous speakers have included David Adjaye, Hilton Als, Dwight Andrews, Holland Cotter, Manthia Diawara, Gerald Early, Paule Marshall, Elvis Mitchell, Walter Mosley, Paul Oliver, Darryl Pinckney, and Melvin Van Peebles.

  • 2013: Robert G. O'Meally, Black Art Demanded Action: Ralph Ellison, Romare Bearden, Duke Ellington, and the Jazz Shape of Modern Culture
  • 2013: Holland Cotter, Art in Africa and African America: An Art Critic's Tale
  • 2012: Hilton Als, The New York Black Avant-Garde's Contributions to Music, Theatre, and Performance from the 1960s-90s
  • 2011: Touré, I Would Die 4 U: Why Prince Became a Gen X Icon
  • 2011: Kimberly W. Benston, Black Hauntologies: Slavery, Modernity, Photography
  • 2009: Kobena Mercer, Recrossings: Three Nineteenth-Century Black Atlantic Artists
  • 2008: David Adjaye, Adjaye Associates Work
  • 2008: Deborah Willis, Concepts of Beauty
  • 2008: Anthony Davis, Deconstructing Opera, Creating Opera in a Post-Colonial World
  • 2007: Paul Oliver, Proto-Blues: Secular Black Music Recorded in the Field
  • 2007: Walter Mosley, Street Philosophy by Socrates Fortlow
  • 2006: Paule Marshall, People and Places in the Life of a Writer
  • 2005: Melvin Van Peebles, Connecting the Dots A La Barbershop
  • 2004: Dwight Andrews, Giant Steps: Formations of a Black Music Aesthetic
  • 2003: Gerald. L. Early, The Next Level of the Game: Cultural Observations on Three African American Athletes
  • 2002: Elvis Mitchell, African Americans in Cinema: From Pride to Rage
  • 2002: Manthia Diawara, Bamako
  • 2001: Darryl Pinckney, Out There: Mavericks of Black Literature