Essay on Poetry's Influences on the Harlem Renaissance
15 May 2013
Poetry’s influence on racial equality
Racial equality has been the topic of many works for centuries. Many of those works weren’t written by those actually affected by inequality. During the 1920’s African Americans began to express their opinions on the issue more frequently through the arts. Poetry was among the most prominent forms of art used for spreading equality and justice. Poets like Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, and Claude McKay wrote many poems that spoke on equality in society.
African Americans felt betrayed after the civil war. They had given their lives and after the war nothing had changed (Cartwright, “The Harlem Renaissance”). They were still not treated equal …show more content…
Cullen graduated from New York University in 1925 as Phi Beta Kappa. At that time he was already writing some of the acclaimed poems published in books by Harper and Brothers: Color (1925), Copper Sun (1927). He won first prize in the Witter Bynner Contest in 1925. Graduating with a Harvard University M.A. degree in 1926, the poet traveled to France as a Guggenheim Fellow(A grant). Upon his return in 1928, he married Yolanda Du Bois, daughter of W.E.B. Du Bois. She divorced him two years later, saying that he told her he was sexually attracted to men. From 1934 on, Cullen taught English and French at the Frederick Douglas Junior High School, though he declined a Creative Literature invitation from Fisk University in Nashville. In 1940 he married an old friend, Ida Mae Roberson. (The Harvard Square Library, “Countee Cullen” He died in 1946 of gastrointestinal disorder