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"Any Human to Another" by Countee Cullen

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by

Joshua Rainey

on 27 January 2011

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Transcript of "Any Human to Another" by Countee Cullen

"Any Human to Another" by Countee Cullen Research: Countee Cullen He was one of the leading American poets of his time and one of the main figures in the Harlem Renaissance. The Harlem Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned the 1920s and the 1930s. The movement addressed issues affecting the lives of African Americans through various forms of art, music, movies, protests, and literature. Between high school and his graduation from Harvard, Cullen was the most popular black poet and virtually the most popular black literary figure in America. Summary:
"Any Human to Another" The poem stresses that humans are all connected to each other and that when one person feels oppression, the whole race of that person is greatly affected. "Your grief and mine/ Must
intertwine/ like a
sea and river/ be fused and
mingle/ Diverse yet single" (7-12) Imagery
Oxymoron
Simile Sorrow is something that we all share. Although it may seem to be a personal pain, it, in reality, is experienced by a multitude. The oppression experienced comes to define the lives of the people that it is directed towards. "My sorrow must be laid on your head like a crown" (30-31) Multiple interpretations? What can we truly learn from this poem? Kabuo? Relevance: Kabuo Miyamoto is one individual.
His life is one examination of a racial injustice.
Superficially, Kabuo's story is about the hardships of one Japanese American man. We need the bigger picture! The character Kabuo Miyamoto is utilized to create a microcosmic picture of racial oppression towards Japanese Americans. "Your grief and mine/ Must intertwine" (7-8) Similarly, Cullen uses his poem "One Human to Another" to create recogition of the racial atrocities commited against African Americans. Cullen's poem and the character Kabuo Miyamoto are both not used to represent one isolated incident.
In fact,they both are used as microcosmic pictures to reveal racial atrocities. As Cullen and Kabuo reveal, one is not an island; he is part of a continent. Cullen's poem "Any Human to Another" was published in 1934, which was during this era.
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