Arna Bontemps: He Beat a Way for the Rising Sun

Born today was Arna Bontemps,

One of the Harlem Renaissance  gems.

Gifted poet and honored man of letters.

Unlettered whites presumed  they were his betters.

“We are not come to wage a strife

With swords upon this hill.

It is not wise to waste a life

Against a stubborn will.

Yet would we die as some have done

Beating a way for the rising sun.”  [“Day-Breakers” by Arna Bontemps]

Postscript: Arna Bontemps has a special place in my heart because I taught for 17 years at a Chicago public school named in his honor. Recently it was shuttered for economic reasons.



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  • Excellent post. You are a teacher, still.

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