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Roosevelt’s depression-era Works Progress Administration. He also conducted research for the Carnegie-Myrdal Study of the Negro in 1939. In addition to his lengthy tenure as a distinguished professor at Howard University, Brown also held visiting professorships at the University of Illinois, the University of Minnesota, the New School for Social Research, Sarah Lawrence College, and Vassar College. In 1969 Brown reluctantly retired from Howard University after 40 years of service. In 1974 he published a revised edition of his landmark Southern Road, which renewed critical and popular interest in his poetry and led to the publication of his second volume of poetry, The Last Ride of Wild Bill, and Eleven Narrative Poems (1975).
In his final years, Bontemps published The Harlem Renaissance Remembered (1972), a collection of literary reminiscences of the celebrated authors and literary figures of that era, many of whom he had known personally. He also published a collection of his short fiction, The Old South: “A Summer Tragedy” and Other Stories from the Thirties (1973). Arna Wendell Bontemps died of a heart attack on June 4, 1973, in Nashville, Tennessee. In his novels, poetry, short fiction, and children’s literature, Bontemps consistently challenged racial prejudice and celebrated the unique contributions made by African Americans to the literature and history of the United States.
Though she never published a collected volume of her poetry, Bennett was acclaimed by her fellow authors for her unselfconscious and lively celebration of African heritage and an artistic vision that was equal to many of her more prolific and celebrated contemporaries. , Frances Smith Foster, and Trudier Harris, eds. The Concise Oxford Companion to African American Literature. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001. Cullen, Countee, ed. Caroling Dusk. New York: Carol Publishing Group, 1993. , and Nellie Y.