HarlemToday being the birthday of one of their most noted members I thought it would be a great time to discuss one of the most important and overlooked literary movements in the U.S., the Harlem Renaissance. But as mentioned it is the birthday of Arnaud “Arna” Wendell Bontemps, born on this day in 1902 in Alexandria, Louisiana. Arna, like many young writers was drawn to New York City in 1924 where he began teaching at the Harlem Academy. It wasn’t long before he met and befriended a number of luminaries including Countee Cullen, Langston Hughes, W.E.B. Du Bois, Zora Neale Hurston, James Weldon Johnson, Claude McKay and Jean Toomer. They would form the core of what became known as the ‘New Negro Movement’ then later known as the Harlem Renaissance. It spanned from 1918 to the mid 1930’s. Today the mainstream is just now rediscovering the work of many of these masters of drama, poetry and the novel. If you have not read about this movement or read anything by these authors PLEASE take the time to, you will discover vivid language and rhythm that today‚Äôs novels lack.

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