The Remarkable Life of Harlem Renaissance Poet Countee Cullen

Stephen G. Hall SAVE THIS

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division, The New York Public Library. “Countee Cullen.” The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1925.

The first 20 years of the 20th century brought tumultuous changes to the condition and location of African Americans. The triumph and travail of Reconstruction gave way to Jim Crow and the “color line.” The Great Migration witnessed millions of Blacks seeking “the warmth of other suns,” moving away from the rural South to the urban South, North, and West. Large numbers of African Americans concentrated in urban areas not only fostered social, political, and economic changes but, most importantly, intellectual innovation.

The most important outgrowth of this era was the Harlem Renaissance — a literary, musical, and cultural outpouring of Black aesthetic expression in the 1920s. One of its leading luminaries was Countee Cullen, whose life and literary…

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