Incident by Countee Cullen

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Countee Cullen is a modernist writer with a very interesting poem about a summer and fall in the city of Baltimore, Maryland. He writes about being eight years old and smiling at a white boy about his age but he sticks his tongue out and calls him a very derogatory name. Such is the way of the world today still. Even the reverse of the situation is true. He goes on to mention that even though he was there for about seven months, that is the only thing he can remember because it was traumatic at his young age and the gateway or doorway to the way he would be treated for the rest of his life by the other, major race in the country where he lives. Times in this country were hard for everyone, but especially hard for those people of the minority races.

Being a minority is a very difficult task anywhere but it becomes an even more difficult task for a person who lives in a country that is going into a depression and wants someone to blame. There is going to be a lot of blame casting throughout all levels of government and society. Some people during that time period didn’t even know that the stock market had crashed, because they were so poor already. The band Alabama has a very famous song called “High Cotton” which is about the stock market crash and how their family ended up moving to town since the boy’s father got a job with the TVA, bringing the family out of squalor.

If he faced that amount of animosity for the rest of his life it’s no wonder that he has famous poems. When you face that much hate and anger when you haven’t even done anything, it is hard to understand where your place in the world is. His poetry most likely provided an outlet. The Harlem Renaissance was a period when authors and artists of all types could really express themselves and connect with the other people who they lived with or around. These people, these artists became huge figures in the Harlem community because their work had such an important impact on the people who...
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