Why Is Cullen So Important To The New Negro?

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Cullen wrote more conventionally which is important to the future generations who may comes across The New Negro. His topics focused on the black experience and his poetry was more traditional and soulful which he strongly believed to be the best way of writing. This what made him different from Hughes, Hurston, Toomer and others, who initially focused more on the folk tradition as their signature style. Furthermore, Cullen differed from his peers by defying the ideology of remaining within his race poetically. It was not in fact denying his "blackness" or African American Heritage but bringing to recognition his right to create ideas and works that does not necessarily have to deal with race. He acknowledged that he was Black, just like the …show more content…

This is where his love for poetry was birthed and gained an audience. He also participated in literary contests one of which he made a poem "I Have a Rendezvous with Life," that was inspired by Alan Seeger's "I Have a Rendezvous with Death." He continued his great work and produced his first three volumes: Color (1925), Copper Sun (1927), and The Ballad of the Brown Girl (1927). “He was certainly not the first Negro to attempt to write such verse but he was first to do so with such extensive education and with such a complete understanding of himself as a poet” (Early 2001). This was said in response to the fact that his writing was considered to be “white”. Nevertheless, this was the genesis of the Harlem Renaissance regime. As Clifton Johnson indicated, Alain Locke (1926) extended praises to him in Opportunity: "Ladies and Gentlemen! A genius! Posterity will laugh at us if we do not proclaim him now. Color transcends all of the limiting qualifications that might be brought forward if it were merely a work of talent." In 1947, an incredible collection of Cullen's poetry, On These I Stand: An Anthology of the Best Poems of Countee Cullen was published. His work paid off after death when public schools were named after him and Harlem's 135th Street Branch library now being called the Countee Cullen Library. Also, literary scholars are referring to Cullen's life and writings as the years go by and in 2012 a biography of Cullen was published, And Bid Him Sing, by Charles

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