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Arna Bontemps Biography | Poet

Photo of Arna Bontemps

Arna Wendell Bontemps (October 13, 1902 - June 4, 1973) was an American poet and a noted member of the Harlem Renaissance.

He was born in the recently restored house at 1327 Third Street, Alexandria, Louisiana, now the Bontemps African America Museum & Cultural Arts Center. When he was three, his family moved to the Watts district of Los Angeles, California. He was graduated from Pacific Union College in California in 1923. After graduation he went to New York to teach at Harlem Academy, where he became a contributor to the Harlem Renaissance. He began writing while a student at Pacific Union College and became the author of many children's books. His critically most important work, The Story of the Negro (1948), received the Jane Addams Book Award and was also a Newbery Honor Book. He is probably best known for the 1931 novel God Sends Sunday. He also wrote the 1946 play St. Louis Woman with Countee Cullen.


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