Overview of the Harlem Renaissance: The Harlem Renaissance (also known as the New Negro Movement) was a literacy, cultural, artistic, and intellectual movement that began in Harlem, New York after World War 1 and ended around during the Great Depression. It took place because people were protesting for civil rights for African Americans and they received a better life in New York and were able to impact the society with ideas, styles, language, and culture.
Brief Biography: Arna Bontemps was born in Alexandria, Louisiana, the son of Creole parents. His father was a skilled brick mason who moved his family to Los Angeles when Arna was three years old. Tension developed between father and son when Arna refused to be apprenticed as a mason. He was sent away to a white boarding school in San Fernando with his father's command not to "go up there acting colored." Unhappy at what he saw as his father's effort to make him forget his racial heritage, Bontemps went on to Pacific Union College in Angwin, California, graduating in 1923. Sample of his work: |
Length of Moon by Arna Bontemps
Then the golden hour
Will tick its last
And the flame will go down in the flower.
A briefer length of moon
Will mark the sea-line and the yellow dune.
Then we may think of this, yet
There will be something forgotten
And something we should forget.
It will be like all things we know:
A stone will fail; a rose is sure to go.
It will be quiet then and we may stay Long at the picket gate But there will be less to say.