Racism was a big problem in 20th century when the poem “Incident” was written. Unfortunately, this situation is still quite problematic nowadays. This is the reason, why this poem attracts people’s attention all over the world. There are a few reasons, why this poem was so popular among people then and it is popular now. First of all, it reveals the truth about racism, which means that every person who feels different from everyone else, can understand the pain of those who suffer from racism. Second of all, “Incident” is written by a black man in 1920s, which makes this story even more emotional. The last very important reason is that problem is not solved and until this happens, it will attract people’s minds and remind the bitter truth about the situation in many countries, especially in the United States.
Countee Cullen was born in 1903. He was a playwright, poet, educator and activist. Cullen became one of the most important people, who are responsible for Harlem Renaissance, cultural movement in 1920s and the development of the African-American arts. However, he was famous the most for his poems like “Incident”. For the first time, it was published in the book “Color” in 1925. This one and all other poems helped people to understand what it means to be a black man after the First World War. However, Cullen didn’t want to be a black man, writing and speaking only for black people. He always wanted to be considered as a poet, creating his poems for all Americans. Writing things like “Incident”, he did a great job and could gain his goal.
It was already mentioned that this poem is quite short and it reads very quickly. It starts from the describing the happy childhood of the speaker. Yet, when he was riding bus in Baltimore, he saw another boy and smiled at him, but instead he didn’t get a smile, he got a rude word “nigger”. This incident was remembered by him as one of the brightest and worst things in Baltimore. The poem may have started on the happy note, but its ending is very and very sad. Through such a simple story, the author demonstrates all the deepness of racism problem. If children from the early age are racists, it is obvious that they won’t change in the future and their attitude towards people, who are different from them, will become even worse with every year. To solve this problem, it is necessary to change our minds and teach children to be kind to all people doesn’t matter what color of skin they have.
Racism was a big problem in 20th century when the poem “Incident” was written. Unfortunately, this situation is still quite problematic nowadays. This is the reason, why this poem attracts people’s attention all over the world. There are a few reasons, why this poem was so popular among people then and it is popular now.