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Extra info for African-American Writers , Facts on File
Frances Smith Foster, and Trudier Harris, eds. The Concise Oxford Companion to African American Literature. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001. Beckham, Barry. Runner Mack. : Howard University Press, 1983. Draper, James P. Black Literature Criticism. Vol. 1. : Gale Research, 1992, 152–171. Bennett, Gwendolyn (Gwendolyn Bennetta Bennett, Gwendolyn Bernette Bennett, Gwendolyn Bennett Jackson, Gwendolyn Bennett Crosscup) (1902–1981) poet, journalist Though considered by many to be a minor literary figure during the Harlem Renaissance, Gwendolyn Bennett earned the respect of her contemporaries, including LANGSTON HUGHES and COUNTEE CULLEN, as well as that of the earlier generation of African-American writers, among them JAMES WELDON JOHNSON.
Bontemps also maintained friendships with such notable authors as COUNTEE CULLEN, CLAUDE McKAY, RUDOLPH FISHER, and WALLACE THURMAN, whom he had first met while living in Los Angeles. In 1931 Bontemps published his first novel, God Sends Sunday, to mixed critical reviews. The novel depicts the exploits of Little Augie, a character based on his great-uncle, who rises to fame as a jockey and later falls into a life of poverty and physical hardship. In 1932 Bontemps won an award from the National Urban League’s Opportunity magazine for his short story “A Summer Tragedy,” a moving tale of an elderly couple worn out by their lives as sharecroppers.
Upon her return to New York in 1926, she was encouraged by James Weldon Johnson to write a regular column for Opportunity. She began writing “The Ebony Flute,” a literary and social column that kept readers apprised of new publications by African-American writers and of opportunities for struggling writers. The column flourished until 1928, when it was discontinued. Bennett had married Alfred Joseph Jackson, a physician, in 1927, and the two moved in 1928 to Florida, where Alfred hoped to establish his own medical practice.