Individual Author Record
Name: Arna Wendell BontempsPen Name: None Genre: C:ADULT C:CHILD C:YA Born: 1902 in Alexandria, Louisiana Sites:
Illinois ConnectionBontemps lived in Illinois at different times from 1923 through 1969. He graduated from the University of Chicago with a masters degree in library science in 1943.
Biographical and Professional InformationArna Wendell Bontemps was an American poet and a noted member of the Harlem Renaissance. He is probably best known for the 1931 novel ''God Sends Sunday'', the 1936 novel ''Black Thunder'', and the 1966 anthology ''Great Slave Narratives''. He also wrote the 1946 play St. Louis Woman with Countee Cullen.Bontemps was a teacher in Chicago from 1923-38. In 1943, after graduating from the University of Chicago with a masters degree in library science, Bontemps was appointed head librarian at Fisk University in Nashville, TN. He held that position for 22 years and developed important collections and archives of African-American literature and culture, namely the ''Langston Hughes Renaissance Collection''. After retiring from the Fisk University in 1966, he worked at the University of Illinois at Chicago until 1969 and Yale University, where he served as curator to the James Weldon Johnson Collection. Through his librarianship and bibliographic work, Bontemps has become a leading figure in establishing African-American literature as a legitimate object of study and preservation.
''God Sends Sundays'', Harcourt, 1931''Popo and Fifina, Children of Haiti'', Macmillan, 1932 - written with Langston Hughes''You Can’t Pet a Possum'', Morrow, 1934''Black Thunder'', Macmillan, 1936''Sad-faced Boy'', Houghton Mifflin, 1937''Drums at Dusk: a Novel'', Macmillan, 1939''The Fast Sooner Hound'', Arna Bontemps, Houghton Mifflin, 1942 - written with Jack Conroy''They Seek a City'', Doubleday, 1945''We Have Tomorrow'', Houghton Mifflin, 1945''Slappy Hooper, the Wonderful Sign Painter'', Houghton Mifflin, 1946 - written with Jack Conroy''Story of the Negro'', Knopf, 1948''George Washington Carver'', Row, Peterson, 1950''Chariot in the Sky: a Story of the Jubilee Singers'', Breman, 1963''Famous Negro Athletes'', Dodd, Mead, 1964''Mr. Kelso’s Lion'', Lippincott, 1970''Free at Last: the Life of Frederick Douglass'', Dodd, Mead, 1971''Young Booker: Booker T. Washington’s Early Days'', Dodd, Mead, 1972''The Old South: "A Summer Tragedy" and Other Stories of the Thirties'', Dodd, Mead, 1973''100 Years of Negro Freedom'',Greenwood Publishing Grp,Inc., 1980