William E. Harmon

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Founder of the Harmon Foundation in 1922 , William E. Harmon was a white real estate developer and philanthropist who had a keen interest in helping African Americans advance their knowledge in the fields of art, music, and literature during the Harlem Renaissance. Through the Harmon Foundation, African American acheivements are acknowledged in such fields as farming, education, business, science, race relations, literature, music, and religious services. In addition to his many contributions, William E. Harmon is responsible for donating several pieces of land used to build playgrounds for underprivileged children.
William E. Harmon was born in Lebanon, in March of 1862. He had one brother born in 1968 named Clifford Harmon. In his youth, he was very fond of wildlife and outdoor activities. While in college he was interested in becoming a doctor and went to Jefferson School of Medicine in Kentucky. However,his schooling was interupted when his father began to have financial difficulties. In order to stay in college, William began working as a salesman. In 1883, he married Corrine Lado, however soon after he was met with tragedy. His wife died in childbirth and soon after both his mother and father followed. After this, William E. Harmon and his brother began working in the real estate business. In 1890, William E. Harmon remarried to Catherine Griffiths. With the help of Harmon and his brother Clifford, the Wood, Harmon Company became the largest real estate company in the world as of 1907. After acquring the Harmon Company William E. Harmon accumulated a large fortune and began helping the needy. Through several mysterious checks to poor artists and writers, as well as poverty stricken children, William E. Harmon worked to enrich peoples lives and social problems until his death in 1928.

Alain LeRoy Locke
"The leading authority on modern African American culture and used his position to promote the careers of young artists."

Alain Locke
"We are not come to wage a strife
Of swords upon this hill.
It is not wise to waste our life
Against the stubborn will;
But we would die, as some have done,
Beating away for the rising sun."
From Alain Locke's "A Decade of Negro Self-Expression"

Alain LeRoy Locke was born on September 13, 1886 in Philadelphia, Pa. He was born to father Pliny Ishmael, a school teacher and mother Mary Hopkins who was also a school teacher. He was an educator, an editor, and a writer. He was often referred to as the “Father of the Harlem Renaissance” because of his inspirational and passionate writings. Alain Locke was highly educated African American man. He studied both abroad and in the United States attending schools such as the Philadelphia School of Pedagogy, Harvard University, Hartford College, University of Berlin, and the College de France. In addition to being an education supporter, Alain Locke was a large supporter of the arts; he often encouraged African American artists to look to Africa for inspiration. He formed the theory of "cultural pluralism" which is a society made up of several different cultures and their beliefs.
Alain Locke continued his support in education by accepting a position as assistant professorship in English at Howard University. He wrote more than 20 works and was a member of at least 9 Associations and Societies. Alain Locke influenced African American power during the Harlem Renaissance. His writings touch on subjects such as African American education and African American acceptance. Alain Locke was one of the most known African American intellectual persons of his time and before his death, He was an authority on modern African American culture, a professor and a valued member of the Harlem Renaissance movement.