Cullen, Countee. (1903 - 1946).
L i f e
- born in NY City, abandoned by his parents at birth, and brought up by his grandmother
- later adopted by a Methodist Reverend in Harlem, accepted his name
- received university education in a primarily white community
=> lacked his own experience to comment on the lives of other Afro-Americans or to use popular Afro-American themes in his writing
- started writing poetry when 14, had his poems published in The Crisis, The Opportunity, Poetry, & others
- became an assistant editor of The Opportunity
- befriended with the prominent figures of the Harlem Renaissance
- married W.E.B. DuBois's daughter x but: they divorced after two years
W o r k
- his 1st collection of poems
- published the same year he graduated from college
The Black Christ (1929):
- a long narrative poem
- describes a childhood trip to Baltimore
"Now I was eight and very small, / And he was no whit bigger, / And so I smiled, but he poked out / His tongue, and called me, 'Nigger'".
(Photo: Carl Van Vechten. 1941. Source: Wikimedia Commons).
AuthorBorn Countee LeRoy Porter. Accepted the name Countee Cullen. (1903 - 1946). African-American.
WorkPoet. Novelist. Figure of the Harlem Renaissance.
GenresModern poetry and fiction.
Bercovitch, Sacvan, ed. The Cambridge History of American Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.
Cunliffe, Marcus. The Literature of the United States. London: Penguin, 1991.
Ruland, Richard, Malcolm Bradbury. Od puritanismu k postmodernismu. Praha: Mladá fronta, 1997.
Vančura, Zdeněk, ed. Slovník spisovatelů: Spojené státy americké. Praha: Odeon, 1979.