Gwendolyn Bennett: Poet, Author, Journalist & Served as Director of the Harlem Community Art Center

0 Posted by - March 9, 2017 - Art, Black History, BLACK WOMEN, HARLEM RENAISSANCE, History

Gwendolyn Bennett was a poet, author, journalist, educator, and graphic artist. She was a contributor to The Crisis, the journal of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Bennett was born on July 8, 1902 in Giddings, Texas to Joshua and Maime Bennett. Her parents were teachers in the Bureau of Indian Affairs. At the age of four, she moved along with her parents to Washington, D.C. However, soon after the family arrived, Bennett’s mother divorced her father and took custody of her, but she was kidnapped by her father and settled in with him and her new stepmother in Brooklyn, New York.

Bennett attended Brooklyn’s Girls High from 1918 to 1921 where she became the first black to join the Drama and Literary societies and where she was awarded first place in a school-wide art contest. After graduating from high school, Bennett enrolled at Columbia University and Pratt Institute to pursue fine arts. She graduated in 1924.

While in college, Bennett found her passion for writing poetry in college. In November 1923, her poem “Nocturne” was published in The Crisis, the journal of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The following month another poem, “Heritage” appeared in Opportunity, the magazine of the National Urban League. Bennett also served as an Assistant Professor in the Art Department at Howard University in 1924.

Bennett was a member of the Harlem Artists Guild from 1937 to 1941, and directed the Harlem Community Art Center. She was also on the Board of the Negro Playwright’s Guild and contributed to the development of the George Washington Carver Community School in New York. From 1937 to 1941, Bennett was a member of the Harlem Artists Guild and directed the Harlem Community Art Center. She was also on the Board of the Negro Playwright’s Guild and contributed to the development of the George Washington Carver Community School in New York. Gwendolyn Bennett passed away on May 30, 1981.

 

sources:

http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/poets/a_f/bennett/life.htm

http://harlemrenaissancepoets.wikispaces.com/Gwendolyn+Bennett+2

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