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Incident
(30 May 1903 – 9 January 1946 / New York)

Incident

Poem By Countee Cullen

Once riding in old Baltimore,
Heart-filled, head-filled with glee,
I saw a Baltimorean
Keep looking straight at me.

Now I was eight and very small,
And he was no whit bigger,
And so I smiled, but he poked out
His tongue, and called me, 'Nigger.'

I saw the whole of Baltimore
From May until December;
Of all the things that happened there
That's all that I remember.

User Rating: 3,5 / 5 ( 140 votes ) 49

Comments (49)

Ok but who gave siri the n word pass?
" Incident" is a short poem that packs a huge punch. Its speaker is an African-American man who looks back on a pivotal moment of his life in which he encounters racism.... Cullen was deeply involved in African-American culture and politics, and he was pals with the leading black intellectuals of the age.
The poet had a most disappointing encounter with racism. Yet that is all he remembers of Baltimore. Terrific poem.
Thanks for the sharing of this poem. It was straight to the point and deliberate 💪
I am an artist and I am going to exhibit at the Countee Cullen Library in Harlem with a show entitled " Dreams in a Silken Cloth" which comes from a Cullen's epitaph. Part of the programming will be a reading of Countee Cullen's poems. Readers invited for May 15 & May 29,2019 from 5: 30-6: 45 pm If you are interested in participating, you can reach me at mocerinony@gmail.com


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