Black Quotidian: Everyday History in African-American Newspapers

May 16, 1935

On May 16, 1935, the Los Angeles Sentinel noted that poet Arna Bontemps was scheduled to speak at the Vernon Library Book Club.  “In addition to reading some of his own poetry, Mr. Bontemps has selected for review: ‘A Few Foolish Ones,’ by Gladys Hasty Carroll; ‘Grandsons,’ by Louis Adamic; ‘Time Out of Mind,’ by Rachel Field; ‘Siesta,’ by Berry Fleming; ‘Elinor Wylie,’ by Nancy Hoyt; ‘Now in November,’ by Josephine Johnson; ‘February Hill,’ by Victoria Lincoln and ‘The Pumpkin Coach,’ by Louis Paul.” Arna Bontemps taught in Harlem in the 1920s, where he became connected to artists associated with the Harlem Renaissance, such as Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, Jean Toomer, and Zora Neal Hurston. In 1935, Bontemps was living in his father’s house in California finishing his book on Gabriel Prosser’s planned slave rebellion, titled Black Thunder: Gabriel’s Revolt: Virginia 1800 (1936). 

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