Heroine of the Harlem Renaissance and Beyond: Gwendolyn Bennett's Selected Writings

Heroine of the Harlem Renaissance and Beyond: Gwendolyn Bennett's Selected Writings

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Poet, columnist, artist, and fiction writer Gwendolyn Bennett is considered by many to have been one of the youngest leaders of the Harlem Renaissance and a strong advocate for racial pride and the rights of African American women. Heroine of the Harlem Renaissance and Beyond presents key selections of her published and unpublished writings and artwork in one volume.

From poems, short stories, and reviews to letters, journal entries, and art, this collection showcases Bennett’s diverse and insightful body of work and rightfully places her alongside her contemporaries in the Harlem Renaissance—figures such as Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, and Countee Cullen. It includes selections from her monthly column “The Ebony Flute,” published in Opportunity, the magazine of the National Urban League, as well as newly uncovered post-1928 work that proves definitively that Bennett continued writing throughout the following two decades. Bennett’s correspondence with canonical figures from the period, her influence on Harlem arts institutions, and her political writings, reviews, and articles show her deep connection to and lasting influence on the movement that shaped her early career.

An indispensable introduction to one of the era’s most prolific and passionate minds, this reevaluation of Bennett’s life and work deepens our understanding of the Harlem Renaissance and enriches the world of American letters. It will be of special value to scholars and readers interested in African American literature and art and American history and cultural studies.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780271082585
Publisher: Penn State University Press
Publication date: 06/05/2018
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 272
File size: 8 MB

About the Author

Belinda Wheeler is Associate Professor of English at Claflin University and the editor of several books, most recently A Companion to Australian Aboriginal Literature.
Louis J. Parascandola is Professor of English at Long Island University, Brooklyn, and the editor of several books, most recently Amy Jacques Garvey: Selected Writings from the Negro World, 1923–1928.

Table of Contents


Foreword by Maureen Honey


Note on the Text

Bennett Timeline


Published Work



Nocturne (1923)

Heritage (1923)

To Usward (1924)

Song (1925)

Street Lamps in Early Spring (1926)

Hatred (1926)

Lines Written at the Grave of Alexander Dumas (1926)

Moon Tonight (1926)

Dear Things (1926)

Advice (1927)

Fantasy (1927)

Quatrains (1927)

Secret (1927)

To a Dark Girl (1927)

Epitaph (1934)




Untitled [River Landscape] (1931)

Magazine Covers

Pipes of Pan (March 1924)

Untitled (January 1926)

Untitled (July 1926)

Short Stories


Wedding Day (1926)

Tokens (1927)



The Ebony Flute (August 1926)

The Ebony Flute (April 1927)

The Ebony Flute (July 1927)

The Ebony Flute (September 1927)

The Ebony Flute (April 1928)



Heartbreak and North Carolina Sunshine: The Lonesome Road— by Paul Green (1926)

Blue-Black Symphony: Home to Harlem, by Claude McKay (1928)

Banjo, by Claude McKay (1929)

Plum-Bun, by Jessie Redmon Fauset (1929)

The Emperors Jones (1930)

Cultural and Social Articles


The Future of the Negro in Art (1924)

The American Negro Paints (1928)

The Plight of the Negro Is Tragic (1934)

I Go to Camp (1934)

The Harlem Artists Guild (1937)

Unpublished Work



Two Poems (1925)

Thin Laughter (1928)

Train Monotony (1928)

Dirge for a Free Spirit (1933)

Fulfillment (1935) 000

[Give me your hand, beloved] (1935)

I Build America (1938)

Sweat (1938)

Wise Guys (1938)

The Hungry Ones (1938)

Threnody for Spain (1939)

[Across a room when other ones are there] (n.d.)

[Rapacious women who sit on steps at night] (n.d.)

[So this is how it is] (n.d.)

Unfinished Novel


Chapter Outline for the Unfinished Novel The Call (n.d.)

Excerpts from The Call (1928–1932)



My Father’s Story (n.d.)

[Ward Place] (1941)

Lancaster, Pa. (n.d.)

Let’s Go: In Gay Paree! (n.d.)

25 (n.d.)

[Life as a Javanese] (n.d.)

[Ku Klux Klan Rides] (n.d.)

Last Night I Nearly Killed My Husband! (n.d.)

[Harlem Reflection] (n.d.)




June 26, 1925

July 26, 1925

August 2, [1925]

August 8, [1925]

September 27, [19]25

September 28, 1925

April 29, 1926

United States

[April 7,] 1936

April 8, 1936

April 9, 1936

April 18, 1936

May 7, 1936

January 3, 1937

June 19, 1985

January 3, 1937

June 19, 1958



Literary Friends

To W. E. B. Du Bois (January 19, 1925)

To Countee Cullen (August 28, 1925)

To Langston Hughes (December 2, 1925)

To Countee Cullen (January 14, 1926)

To Harold Jackman (February 23, 1926)

To Langston Hughes (1926)

To Claude McKay (February 25, 1937)

To James Weldon Johnson (January 4, 1938)

To Alain Locke (May 11, 1939)

To Richard Wright (March 3, 1940)

To Alain Locke (November 30, 1941)

To Langston Hughes (May 13, 1942)

Family and Associates

To Joshua Bennett and Marechal Neil Bennett (January 5, 1925)

To Marechal Neil Bennett (March 24, 1925)

To Joshua Bennett (May 17, 1925)

To Marechal Neil Bennett (July 27, 1928)

To James Vernon Herring (September 9, 1937)

To Mayme (Abernathy) Pizarro (August 31, 1938)

To Flora Dugan (October 6, 1947)

To Everyone (September 27, 1968)




Customer Reviews