The Henry Dumas Resource Center | Kent State University

The Henry Dumas Resource Center

This is a departmental research library and reading room for faculty, staff, students and community.  It was named after Henry Dumas, an African American poet and short-story writer.  Henry Dumas (July 20, 1934-May 23, 1968) was a brilliant African American writer and poet.  Dumas was born in Sweet Home, Arkansas in 1934 and he lived there until the age of ten, when he moved to New York City; however, he always kept with him the religious and folk traditions of his hometown.  In Harlem, he attended public school and graduated from Commerce High School in 1953.  After graduating, he enrolled in the Air Force and was stationed at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas where he met future wife, Loretta Ponton.  The couple married in 1955 and had two sons, David in 1958 and Michael in 1962.  Dumas was in the military until 1957, at which time he enrolled at Rutgers University but never attained a degree.  In 1967, Dumas began work at Southern Illinois University’s Experiment in Higher Education in East St. Louis.   At EHE, Dumas was a teacher and counselor.  It was  here that he  met fellow teacher and poet, Eugene Redmond, forming a close collaborative relationship that would prove so integral to Dumas’ posthumous career.