Arnaud "Arna" Wendell Bontemps (October 13, 1902 – June 4, 1973) was an American poet and a noted member of the Harlem Renaissance. Bontemps was born in the city of Alexandria, Louisiana, on October 13, 1902 to Charlie Bontemps and Marie Pembrooke Bontemps, a Louisiana Creole family. When he was three, his family moved to Los Angeles, California, in the Great Migration of blacks out of the South to cities of the North, Midwest and West. They settled in what became known as the Watts district. After attending public schools, Bontemps graduated from Pacific Union College in California in 1923, where he majored in English and minored in history. Bontemps was a member of Omega Psi Phi fraternity.)
A Black Man Talks of Reaping
I have sown beside all waters in my day.
I planted deep, within my heart the fear
that wind or fowl would take the grain away.
I planted safe against this stark, lean year.
I scattered seed enough to plant the land
in rows from Canada to Mexico
but for my reaping only what the hand
can hold at once is all that I can show.
Yet what I sowed and what the orchard yields
my brother's sons are gathering stalk and root;
small wonder then my children glean in fields
they have not sown, and feed on bitter fruit.