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Navneet Sethi

poet, anthologist, and librarian during the Harlem Renaissance. Born in Alexandria, Louisiana, from age three Arna Wendell Bontemps grew up in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles. After attending public schools there, he attended Pacific Union College in Angwin, California, graduating in 1923.

After college Bontemps, who had already begun writing, moved to New York City and became a teacher in Harlem. Like his contemporary Arthur A. Schomburg, Bontemps excavated the rich cultural heritage of the African American community and won recognition quite early. Opportunity magazine awarded Bontemps its Alexander Pushkin poetry prize twice: in 1926 for the poem “Golgotha Is a Mountain” and in 1927 for “The Return.” Also in 1927 his poem “Nocturne at Bethesda” won The Crisis magazine's first-ever poetry contest. In 1926 he married Alberta Johnson; they had six children.

Bontemps's first published novel for adults, God Sends Sunday (1931 ...


Christopher Harter

publisher, poet, and librarian, was born Dudley Felker Randall in Washington, D.C., the son of Arthur Clyde Randall, a Congregational minister, and Ada Viola Randall, a teacher and later a full-time housewife. He was the middle son of five children.

The Randall family moved to Detroit in 1920. Arthur Randall instilled in his sons his interest in politics and would take them to hear black speakers such as W. E. B. Du Bois and James Weldon Johnson. Although Dudley Randall inherited his love of poetry from both parents, he mirrored his mother's calmer demeanor. Randall wrote his first poem when he was four years old, and his first published poem appeared in the Detroit Free Press when he was thirteen He excelled in his studies graduating from high school at sixteen He found work at a Ford Motor Company foundry and he ...