ARNA WENDELL BONTEMPS


reiss_jpg.jpg
Spencer Day

Arna was born on October 13, 1902 in Louisiana. His father was a Creole bricklayer and his mother was a schoolteacher. At a young age, Arna and his family left Louisiana for Los Angeles because his father was threatened by death by two drunk white men.
arna_bontemps_house_edit.jpg
Arna Bontemps was Born in this House

In Los Angeles, Bontemps attended a rather prestigious school. His father told him to be very grateful for it and not to go "acting colored". Later in Arna's life, he moved to Harlem where he realized that he did not want to lose his cultural and historical heritage (Poets 1).

In Harlem Bontemps taught school befriended many of the influential artists of the time. He lived in Harlem from 1924 to 1932. During those eight years, Arna published his first poems in two magazines: Crisis and Opportunity. In 1932, he moved to Huntsville Alabama where he taught in a junior college. This was one year after his first book, God Sends Sunday. This job at the college was short however, and he was fired by 1934 because of his radical political views. In 1934 Bontemps got his Master's degree which he had always wanted from Chicago University. He went on to be a librarian at Fisk University and then was a professor at Yale University and the University of Illinois (1).

Bontemps lived to be 71 years old when he died in 1973 of a heart attack. He wrote many poems and books for adults and children. He is regarded as one of the leading poets of the Harlem Renaissance and was very involved with all of the Jazz and Art that was taking place at the time (Museum 1). His writing played a significant role in the Renaissance by making the people have emotion and a longing for racial freedom.


hughes.gif
Langston Hughes, Horace Cayton, and Arna Bontemps, all great poets of the time collaberating in front of the Parkway Community House(Caxton 1)
Length of Moon by Arna Bontemps

Works Cited

" Arna Wendell Bontemps Museum." Arna Wendell Bontemps Museum. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Apr. 2011. <http://www.arnabontempsmuseum.com/>.
"Arna Bontemps- Poets.org - Poetry, Poems, Bios & More." Poets.org - Poetry, Poems, Bios & More. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Apr. 2011. <http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/128>.
"Caxtonian: July 2001." The Caxton Club. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Apr. 2011. http://www.caxtonclub.org/reading/2001/Sept2001/illustrations.htm.