Countee Cullen

1903–1946
Countee  Cullen

An orphan in New York City, Countee Cullen was adopted by a reverend and raised in a Methodist parsonage. A brilliant student, he began writing poetry at age 14 and as a student at New York University wrote most of the poems in his first three books: Color, Copper Sun, and The Ballad of the Brown Girl. Cullen became a prominent poet of the Harlem Renaissance, although some of his peers criticized him for avoiding political and social issues.