Countee Cullen was a black writer and translator who won more major literary prizes than any other black writer of the 1920’s. Cullen began winning poetry contests as a teenager. His first three poems in the 1920’s were: Color, Copper Sun, and The Ballad of the Brown Girl. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from New York University. Cullen later became the second black poet to win a Guggenheim Fellowship.
Little is known about his childhood, but he claimed to be born in New York in 1903 and was unofficially adopted as a child. Until 1918, he was known as Countee Porter. He had a difficult relationship with his father, the Reverend Frederick A. Cullen. Frederick Cullen was a devout Methodist pastor who had been raised in poverty. As a child, he wore girls’ clothing at the urging of his mother. His inner-conflict about his own sexuality was said to have deeply affected his relationship with Countee.
Despite a struggling patriarchal relationship, Cullen’s work spoke to literary buffs as a mirror of great poets such as John Keats and Percy Shelley. Though he was associated with the New Negro movement and the Harlem Renaissance, Cullen failed to embrace the literary style of most black poets in the era. However, his work continuously reflected racial themes with political points and black satire. Cullen, who had been raised in predominately white surroundings, was even ridiculed by some who believed that he failed to present a true black perspective in his work.
Cullen received first prize in the Witter Bynner Poetry contest in 1925, Poetry magazine's John Reed Memorial Prize, the Amy Spingarn Award of the Crisis magazine, second prize in Opportunity magazine's first poetry contest, and second prize in the poetry contest of Palms. His list of accolades and prizes were extensive.
In 1928, Cullen married Yolande Du Bois, the only daughter to W.E.B. Dubois. Their marriage was a production and made a symbol of unity among the intellects. Unfortunately, it only lasted two years and their divorce caused a major upset. Cullen’s future works were said to be lackluster in quality and may have been a result of the intense separation.
Cullen worked as a French teacher at Frederick Douglass Junior High. He would write a novel, One Way to Heaven, in 1934. Cullen wrote children’s literature and was working on a musical called “St. Louis Women” at the time of his death.
Countee Cullen died from high blood pressure and uremic poisoning on January 9, 1946.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/7-10/14)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Nite | to the tune of @cnn 😞
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2. Got so much work to do but I just wanna stay in bed and binge watch #Gameofthrones and start the new season of #OnceUponATime. I know I can't be the only one. Right? Ha 💤🦁🍂 #saturday
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3. Mommy's weekend turn up ❤️👶🏾💕🍼 Wouldn't trade it for nothing. #TeamNoSleep lol #HesMyBiggestBlessing ✨
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4. One of them oh shit mont we made it feelings … this shit still be unreal 💯💪🏾 @remyboymonty1738
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5. Tickets Available October 14 @ticketmaster.
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6. People magazine Home edition has raided my house! Get a sneak peek into the bedroom life of the Leakes and see other parts of my home now at PEOPLE.COM
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7. They want to kick you when you down, but kick it when you up
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8. Got my advance copy of #Mafia3 at @gamestop. Get yours via link in the bio #Mafia3 #Ad
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9. This is some of the cast and our diverse team of writers in the writer's room creating funny sh*t for @nbcmarlon what a fun room! Lots of jokes, great stories and having a great time doing what we love... making people laugh and feel something. Look out for our show next year @nbcmarlon we bringing sitcoms back to NBC
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10. #HappySunday☀️Thank you @4everbrandy101 💛💡💛
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11. Happy to be back in Central Falls, RI breaking ground for the One Stop Health Center and hosting a local community event with #Vaseline.
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12. Thank you all in advance 💋💋💋 #Repost @urbansvintage・・・#TarajiPHenson's memoir #AroundTheWayGirl will be available everywhere TODAY October 11th! Will you be purchasing a copy? #UrbansVintage
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13. Moms got my back
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14. @galore dinner party glo ✨ thanks to @styledbygiigii
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15. 🌹#ThisIsWhatTheTruthFeelsLikeTOUR #forevereve
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16. Yes, all those videos I've been posting have led to this: the introduction of skincare to @TYRABeauty! This is the rundown on the new line:Years of research and beauty tips I live by led me to produce the most effective and delightful skincare out there. I'm all about taking really good care of my skin, so I can look like I'm aging in #TyraYears and go filter free on Instagram when I feel like it! Now, it's your turn. ✨My Mama always told me not to wash my face with just my hands. "Tyra, girl, you're just moving the dirt around!" And I've listened. First up is The Clean Machine.... ...a 3-in-1 foaming face wash that cleanses, removes makeup and purified your skin. It has patented technology - a attached Turbo Cleansing Tool - to give you that deep clean that makes your skin feel super fresh. Wanna know more? Yeah, baby. Click that link in my bio.
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17. On set of #beingmaryjane like... ❤️😬💃🏾
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18. #carouselofhope@yvetteshelton100@makeupbylatrice @thestacetheface@marialuciahohan24
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19. I refuse to let a little cold stop me from my daily routines to greatness. #onlythestrongsurvive #warriors
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20. Big things begin with big THINKING... #BusinessEthics #SetLife 🎥
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21. Goodnight - here's a song
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22. Words can't explain the feeling that I have right now.....God is good. look momma I made it. #Harts #Blessed #WhatNow #comedicrockstarshit #4DaysAway
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23. I tried to get a better video with out the nasty bib but she started getting mad at me..lol! Big cuz @the_queen_caitlin trying to show her what to do. #MamasToots #HeirBear👑💜
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24. Gorgeous Serena joined Beyoncé in Formation last night on stage in New Jersey!!!
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25. 😜 @lifeofdesiigner & @rockohill
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