Arna Bontemps

(1902 - 1973)

Biography of Arna Bontemps

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.

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