Bennett in front of a still life oil painting, n.d.

The scenic structure

reflects the fragmentary nature of Bennett’s corpus, much of which is unfinished or lost, and the gaps in her life story, parts of which were too painful for her to discuss.

The scenes presented here are disparate, disjointed, and sometimes overlapping, reflecting the fact that much of Bennett’s life was unrecorded and most of her art has been lost or destroyed. The gaps in the archive and silences in the record call our attention to things we can’t know because of the intersectional forces that conspired to suppress the voices and inhibit the creativity of Bennett and other Black women artists of the Harlem Renaissance. What remains of Bennett’s art and writing—frank, ironic, and surprisingly modern—offers a multimedia chronicle of the Harlem Renaissance from the perspective of a Black woman who lived and worked at the center of the action.

Bennett seated in front of a still life painting.
This photo of Bennett in front of a still life oil painting, presumably one of her own, has been published without attribution or date on various websites and blogs, including MAPS: Modern American Poetry Site.