Countee LeRoy Cullen's Life and Accomplishments

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Countee LeRoy Cullen was one of the leading poets of the Harlem Renaissance. Although there is no real account of his early life, his accomplishments throughout his time was magnificent. During the Harlem Renaissance, he and other writers and poets used their work to empower blacks and talk about the ongoing struggle of blacks. His poem, “Incident”, depicts how overt racism was and how it attacked anyone regardless age or gender.

Countee Cullen

Born on May 30th, 1903, Countee LeRoy Porter is an African American poet, anthologist, novelist, translator, and children's writer. There is no real account of where he was born and who he lived with in his early childhood. Gerald Early suggest that he later claimed that he was born in Louisville, Kentucky, he listed New York City as his birth place of his college transcript upon enrollment into New York University (Early 705). Sometime around 1918, when he was about fifteen years old, he was taken in by Reverend Frederick A. Cullen, pastor of Salem Methodist Episcopal Church, the largest congregation in Harlem at the time. While staying with Reverend Frederick A. Cullen, his name was changed to Countee P. Cullen, later became just Countee Cullen. He attended DeWitt Clinton high school, which was a white dominated from 1918 to 1921. There he became the vice president of his class and also the school newspaper editor. He won several poetry contests at DeWitt Clinton high school. He then attended New York University where he became known as a poet. At New York University, he won the National Writter Bynner Contest for poetry and also contest sponsored by Poetry magazine's John Reed Memorial Prize. That is when he became noticed by Harvard's Irving Babbitt for The Ballad of the Brown Girl....

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...he theme of the poem is that no matter how young or old you are you are still a subject to racism think what happens in your childhood affects who you are in the future. Countee Cullen experienced racism at age eight from a white kid who was not much older than him. This most definitely shaped how he viewed whites in general.

Works Cited

"Countee Cullen." Poetry Foundation. Poetry Foundation, 2014. Web. 27 Mar. 2014.

Early, Gerald. "About Countee Cullen's Life and Career." About Countee Cullen's Life and Career.

Oxford University Press, 1997. Web. 27 Mar. 2014.

"The Harlem Renaissance." Independence Hall Association, 2014. Web.

04 Apr. 2014

Smith, Rochelle, and Sharon L. Jones. "The Harlem Renaissance 1900-1940." The

Prentice Hall Anthology of African American Literature. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2000. 163-67. Print.
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