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Sat, 05.30.1903

Countee Cullen, Poet, and Publisher born

Countee Cullen

*Countee Cullen was born on this date in 1903. He was a Black poet.

From New York City, he was essentially a lyric poet whose work was influenced by that of the English poet John Keats.  Much of Cullen's best work dealt with themes pertinent to the lives of Blacks, but without emphasizing dialect or stereotypes; he perceived art as universal. His several volumes of poetry include Color; Copper Sun; The Black Christ and On These I Stand, his selection of poems by which he wished to be remembered.

Cullen also wrote a novel about life in Harlem, One Way to Heaven (his only novel) 1932, and a children's book, The Lost Zoo, 1940. On these, I stand 1947, The Media and Some Poems 1935, a collection of sonnets and short lyrics together with a translation of Euripide's tragedy, My Lives and How I Lost Them 1942, and plays St. Louis Woman 1946, published. 1971, which ran briefly on Broadway, and The Third Fourth of July published. 1946.

Countee Cullen, a prominent member of the Harlem Renaissance society died on January 9th, 1946.

Reference:
Encyclopedia of African American Culture and History
Volume 1, ISBN #0-02-897345-3, Pg 175
Jack Salzman, David Lionel Smith, Cornel West

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