Countee Cullen Analysis

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Countee Cullen was a leading writer of the Harlem Renaissance. Adopted as a teenager, he was never able to know his real, true family, along with its heritage, so he was not able to find his true identity. He felt these devastating effects of a loss of identity after losing his family, while being thrust into a new one, and never found or understood his own heritage. This later impacted major aspects of his life, such as his style of writing, his religion, and his sexuality. Cullen was raised in Harlem, but there is no record of his place of birth. He was born May 30th, 1903 and was raised by his grandmother until her death in 1918. At that time, Cullen was just a fifteen-year-old boy with no family left to look after him. Cullen was adopted by Reverend Frederick A. Cullen, a pastor from one of Harlem’s most popular churches. Reverend Frederick introduced Cullen to an atmosphere that encouraged education, faith, and sophistication. Cullen later on enrolled in New York University, where he published “Ballad of a Brown Girl” in 1923, before his graduation. After graduation, he went on to earn his master’s degree in English from Harvard University, which he received in 1926. While at Harvard, he published Color, which was a collection of poems with topics that ranged from death, to love, and sex. One of his most popular and notable poems, “Heritage”, was published in Color. Throughout his writing career, Cullen was advised by Alain Locke. Alain Locke was a writer, philosopher,
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