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Arna Bontemps House

Arna Bontemps House

This one-story frame Queen Anne style cottage was the birthplace and childhood home of famed African American poet and author, Arna Bontemps. He lived here from 1902 to 1906, at which time he moved to California after a racial slur was directed towards his father who reacted to the larger implications of that incident by relocating his family. Bontemps taught at the Harlem Academy in New York as an advocate of the Harlem Renaissance, and eventually became head librarian at Fisk University after receiving his master’s degree in library science. His memories of early childhood in Central Louisiana and his home are reflected in many of his writings. The house was moved to its present location from its original location on 9th and Winn Streets in 1991 when it became endangered by the construction of I-49. It was donated to the Arna Bontemps Foundation and restored and renovated at this time due to its deteriorated condition. It now houses the Arna Bontemps African American Museum, dedicated in 1992, which serves as a landmark and promotes cross-cultural communication. The front facade features an Eastlake side porch supported by turned columns and balustrade, and a polygonal bay.

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