Brown, Sterling Allen
Sterling Allen Brown 1901-1989
American poet, folklorist, editor, critic, and essayist.
The following entry provides information on Brown's life and works from 1934 through 1999.
An important American poet and critic, Brown was one of the first writers to infuse his poetry with black folklore. In his first collection, Southern Road (1932), he wove elements of ballads, spirituals, work songs, and the blues into narrative poems generally written in a southern black dialect. Although Brown published little poetry after this collection, many critics believe that his work was significant in the development of black writing.
Brown was born in Washington, D.C., on May 1, 1901. His father, Sterling Nelson Brown, taught in the department of religion at Howard University and was pastor of Washington's historic Lincoln Temple Congregational Church. Among the minister's associates were black leaders Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington, senators B. K. Bruce and John R. Lynch, sociologist W. E. B. Du Bois, and cultural critic Alain Locke. Brown was inspired by his acquaintance with these men to study black history and the importance of black life in America. After he graduated from Williams College in 1922, Brown enrolled at Harvard University and received a master's degree in English in 1923. After graduation Brown taught in the rural South—despite his contemporaries' attempts to dissuade him. It was during this time he gathered the material for Southern Road, which was published in 1932. He accepted a teaching position at Howard University, where he would remain for forty years. Despite the success of Southern Road, his publisher rejected what would have been his second published volume of poetry, No Hiding Place, and declined to issue a second printing of Southern Road. These decisions had a devastating effect on Brown's reputation as a poet; because no new poems appeared, many of his admirers assumed that he had stopped writing. Brown subsequently turned his attention to teaching and to writing criticism, producing several major works on African-American studies. In 1971 Howard University granted Brown an honorary degree. A republication of Southern Road and a new volume of poetry, The Last Ride of Wild Bill and Eleven Narrative Poems (1975), followed. He died on January 13, 1989.
Southern Road is Brown's best-known and most highly acclaimed volume of poetry. Viewed as a breakthrough for black poetry, it incorporates the dialect, music, folklore, and rhythms of rural African Americans in the South. In the poems in the collection, Brown focuses on farmers, preachers, prisoners, prostitutes, and itinerant workers who are at home in their surroundings and preoccupied with the business of survival. The volume includes poems such as “Sam Smiley,” in which a World War I veteran returns home to find his woman in prison for having killed the baby she conceived by a rich white man in Sam's absence. Sam is lynched for murdering the man. In poems “Memphis Blues” and “Ma Rainey,” he celebrates the strength and stoicism of the African American people. Brown looked humorously at race relations in other poems, particularly in a series featuring the character Slim Greer. In the poem “Slim in Atlanta,” the protagonist discovers that blacks are forbidden to laugh in public, and are lining up to laugh in the security of a telephone booth. Slim finds the situation so absurd that he jumps to the front of the line, seizes the telephone booth, and proceeds to laugh for four hours, much to the dismay of the three hundred blacks in line. Brown's later collection, The Last Ride of Wild Bill, focuses on tales of black heroism. In the title poem, Wild Bill defiantly battles a corrupt chief of police who is out to eliminate Bill's numbers business. Although Wild Bill eventually loses to the lawman, he is viewed as an enduring and courageous figure who refuses to be pushed around by the white man.
Southern Road was a critical success, prompting James Weldon Johnson to change his mind about dialect poetry. Johnson, who had previously said that dialect verse could only depict humor and pathos, now saw a greater depth with Brown's poetry, which he praised in the introduction to Southern Road. Although critics often cite Brown as one of the most neglected poets of the twentieth century, they have also undertaken to correct that notion. In recent years several critical studies of Brown's poetry and career have appeared, and many critics note that he has now received the attention he lacked in his lifetime. Several commentators have praised his work as important to the development of African American poetry and perceive Brown to be a seminal figure in African American letters.
Southern Road 1932
The Last Ride of Wild Bill and Eleven Narrative Poems 1975
*The Collected Poems of Sterling A. Brown 1980
Outline for the Study of the Poetry of American Negroes (criticism) 1931
The Negro in American Fiction (criticism) 1937
Negro Poetry and Drama (criticism) 1938
A Son's Return: Selected Essays of Sterling A. Brown (essays) 1996
*This work includes many of the poems in Brown's unpublished No Hiding Place.
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SOURCE: Clay, E. “Sterling Brown: American Peoples' Poet.” International Literature 8, no. 2 (June 1934): 117-22.
[In the following essay, Clay assesses Brown's contribution to African American poetry.]
Somewhere a long time ago, I ran across this apt couplet in an old poem, “The Singer:”
Thus in his manhood, clean, superb and strong To him was born the priceless gift of song.
That fits Sterling Brown exactly: Brown is a singer, a rhapsodos, a singer of his people. The Greek rhapsodos was a reciter of the epic also. Epic poetry is usually great poetry and requires mighty subject matter. There is vast, unmined material for epic poetry in the Negro race and one hopes fervently that Sterling Brown will fulfill the fine echoed prophecy of Stephen Vincent Benet in his John Brown's Body:
Oh, blackskinned epic, epic with the black spear I cannot sing you, having too white a heart And yet some day a poet will rise to sing you And sing you with such truth and mellowness. …
Yes, that is the kind of poet Brown is, a poet who, we hope, is conscious that his is at last the task of singing the Negro as he is and not as he has been written about or sung. And the fecundity with which he endows his explicit characterizations ensures his poetry a well placed niche in the American poetic scene.
Sterling Brown has never...
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SOURCE: Stuckey, Sterling. Introduction to The Collected Poems of Sterling A. Brown, selected by Michael S. Harper, pp. 3-15. New York: Harper & Row, 1980.
[In the following essay, which was originally published in 1974, Stuckey considers the critical reaction to Brown's poetry.]
Unlike the others, the poet had not introduced himself. He had simply said, “Ma Rainey,” and continued in a way that indicated an unusual affinity between author and poem, between voice and word. It seemed the most natural and impressive delivery I had ever heard:
I talked to a fellow, an' the fellow say, “She jes' catch hold of us, some kindaway. She sang Backwater Blues one day …”
“An' den de folks, dey natchally bowed dey heads an' cried, Bowed dey heavy heads, shet dey moufs up tight an' cried, An Ma lef' de stage, an' followed some de folks outside.”
And then those lines which say so much, which enable one to feel so much, about the great Blues singer and her followers:
Dere wasn't much more de fellow say: She jes' gits hold of us dataway.
It was a weekend in the summer of '62 at a resort near Detroit, just on the other side of the Canadian border. We were listening to a recording being amplified throughout the grounds of poets reading their works. Just standing at that early hour on a Sunday morning would have been,...
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SOURCE: Taylor, Clyde. “The Human Image in Sterling Brown's Poetry.” The Black Scholar 12, no. 2 (March-April 1981): 13-20.
[In the following essay, Taylor offers an appreciation of Brown's work, contending that the poet's significance “is that he planted foundations beneath modern black verse, and in so doing, provided the core of identity of imaginative Afro-American writing.”]
So if we go down Have to go down We go like you, brother, ‘Nachal’ men. …
The failure to recognize the central place of Sterling Brown as one of its most necessary innovators is an embarrassment to Afro-American writing. The publication of his Collected Poems1 offers one more chance to end this severe case of cultural absent-mindedness.
Brown's achievement, which he shares with his contemporary, Langston Hughes, is that he planted foundations beneath modern black verse, and in so doing, provided the core of identity for imaginative Afro-American writing. Not knowing this is like not knowing what Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington added to instrumental black music.
Brown completed the indispensible task of naturalizing black verse within black vernacular. The earliest dialect efforts of Dunbar and his school had never shaken off the reductive mimicry of minstrelism. Brown and...
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SOURCE: Kutzinski, Vera M. “The Distant Closeness of Dancing Doubles: Sterling Brown and William Carlos Williams.” Black American Literature Forum 16, no. 1 (spring 1982): 19-25.
[In the following essay, Kutzinski compares Southern Road and William Carlos Williams's Paterson in order to derive insights into the definition of American poetry.]
I call to the mysterious one who yet Shall walk the wet sands by the edge of the stream And look most like me, being indeed my double, And prove of all imaginable things The most unlike, being my anti-self, And, standing by these characters, disclose All that I seek. …
—W. B. Yeats, “Ego Dominus Tuus”
I hold my breath, and try not to shake my tree house, so high away I only hear the melancholy slap of their hands, and see them move from side to side, dressing the cypress in their wet clothes, passing and coming so close to each other that I cannot tell them apart, cannot separate them when they part.
—Jay Wright, “Baptism in the Lead Avenue Ditch”
“American poetry is a very easy subject to discuss for the simple reason that it does not exist.”1 Without being particularly attracted to the role of the advocatus diaboli, I find it nevertheless hard, if not impossible, to resist the discursive potential of what might strike us as an...
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SOURCE: Callahan, John F. “In the Afro-American Grain.” The New Republic 187, no. 24 (December 20, 1982): 25-8.
[In the following essay, Callahan asserts that Brown's emphasis on African American oral tradition and dialect is central to his poetic achievement.]
On May 1, 1901—the same year W. E. B. DuBois wrote his prophetic line: “The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line”—Sterling Brown was born in a house then near and now part of the Howard University campus. His father was Sterling Nelson Brown, minister of Lincoln Temple Congregational Church, professor of religion at Howard, and for a time member of the District of Columbia Board of Education. His parents met at Fisk, where his mother was valedictorian of her class and a relative had been one of the original Fisk Jubilee singers back in the Reconstruction.
Brown grew up in a time when the flavor of Washington, D.C. was becoming more and more bitterly Southern for Negroes, as Woodrow Wilson's New Freedom tightened the noose of segregation and Jim Crow. Along with contemporaries Allison Davis, Montague Cobb, William Hastie, and Charles Drew, Brown went to Dunbar High School and from there, on scholarship, to Williams, then one of the few New England colleges to admit a token one or two Negro students a year. At Williams, Brown remembers, his classmates
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SOURCE: Wright, John S. “The New Negro Poet and the Nachal Man: Sterling Brown's Folk Odyssey.” Black American Literature Forum 23, no. 1 (spring 1989): 95-105.
[In the following essay, Wright explores the impact of African American folklore on Brown's career and finds him uniquely qualified to provide an understanding of the work of Walter “Leadbelly” Boyd, the infamous African American Depression-era blues singer.]
In 1936, the year Sterling Brown and John Lomax joined forces supervising the collection of oral slave narratives for the Federal Writers' Project (see Mangione 257-63), Lomax and his son Alan published the first extended study of an American folksinger. That singer, one Walter Boyd, alias Hudie Ledbetter, alias “Leadbelly,” had been the self-proclaimed “King of the Twelve String Guitar Players of the World,” as well as the number one man in the number one gang on the number one convict farm in Texas. He had fought his way into prison and had sung his way to freedom, to fleeting fame, and to what would be a pauper's death in Bellevue in 1949. A man of prodigious physical strength, emotional volatility, unpredictable violence, and indisputable creativity, unschooled if not unassuming, he was shaped by record, film, and the printed page into the prototypic national image of the “folk Negro.” For the recording industry, his songs were a golden hedge against hard times. For...
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SOURCE: Smith, Gary. “The Literary Ballads of Sterling A. Brown.” CLA Journal 32, no. 4 (June 1989): pp. 393-409.
[In the following essay, Smith discusses the “complexity of Brown's artistic vision” and views the poet's major achievement as the restoration and recreation of African American folk literature.]
Sterling Brown, more reflective, a closer student of folk-life, and above all a bolder and more detached observer, has gone deeper still, and has found certain basic, more sober and more persistent qualities of Negro thought and feeling; and so has reached a sort of common denominator between the old and the new Negro. Underneath the particularities of one generation are hidden universalities which only deeply penetrating genius can fathom and bring to the surface. Too many of the articulate intellects of the Negro group—including sadly enough the younger poets—themselves children of opportunity, have been unaware of these deep resources of the past.
Although one might now quibble with the limitations of Alaine Locke's perceptive review of Sterling Brown's poetry—especially in light of the 1980 publication of Brown's Collected Poems2 and the numerous reconsiderations3 that have placed Brown's poetry within the mainstream of both American and Afro-American...
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SOURCE: Henderson, Stephen E. “Sterling Brown: 1901-1989.” In African American Writers, edited by Lea Baechler and A. Walton Litz, pp. 45-55. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1991.
[In the following essay, Henderson offers an overview of Brown's life and career.]
Sterling Allen Brown, a pioneering and gifted poet, a seminal scholar, a brilliant critic, a master teacher, and mentor to hundreds, is generally acknowledged as the dean of African American literature. He was born in Washington, D.C., on 1 May 1901, the youngest of the six children (and the only son) of Rev. Sterling Nelson Brown, minister of Lincoln Temple Congregational Church and professor of religion at Howard University, and of Adelaide Allen Brown, who had been valedictorian of her class at Fisk University.
Brown received an excellent education both in the classroom and outside it. He heard learned discourse in his father's church and at home, where he was awakened to the love of poetry by his mother. He attended Lucretia Mott School and later distinguished himself at Dunbar High School, where Angelina Weld Grimke taught him English and Jessie Redmon Fauset taught him French, and where his classmates included Allison Davis, Montague Cobb, William Hastie, and Charles Drew. Brown received a scholarship to Williams College, from which he graduated in 1922 as a member of Phi Beta Kappa and with a scholarship to...
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SOURCE: Chamblee, Angela E. “Slim's Heaven and Hell.” CLA Journal 36, no. 3 (March 1993): 339-42.
[In the following essay, Chamblee elucidates Brown's conception of Heaven and Hell in his poem “Slim in Hell.”]
There are many definitions of the word heaven. Heaven can be the repository of the ideals of all that is good in life. Heaven can be the stars in the sky. There can be heaven on earth, and the kingdom of heaven can be within.
Hell too can be on earth, and Hell can be in one's mind. In Sterling Brown's poem “Slim in Hell,” Heaven is not a solemn, ethereal place, nor is Hell exclusively an abode of torture and pain. Both Heaven and Hell are variations on everyday life. Ultimately, Slim's mind—his consciousness—determines his Heaven and Hell.
The Heaven of “Slim in Hell” does not seem to be a reverent, pious place. Slim calls St. Peter “Pete.” St. Peter winks at Slim and calls him a “travelin' rascal,” which is a somewhat disparaging term. The dictionary defines the word “rascal” to mean “a base, dishonest, unscrupulous person, or a mischievous person.” If Slim is a rascal, then why is he in Heaven? The Heaven that Brown creates is not dull and staid. There is humor, and evidently some devilishness is allowed. In Brown's poem, Heaven seems to be a place where the earthy warmth, love, and humor of African-American life reign...
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SOURCE: Sanders, Mark A. “The Ballad, the Hero, and the Ride: A Reading of Sterling A. Brown's The Last Ride of Wild Bill.” CLA Journal 38, no. 2 (December 1994): 162-82.
[In the following essay, Sanders perceives The Last Ride of Wild Bill as a collection of ballads that focus on the fundamental nature of heroism.]
In 1975 one of the most aggressive proponents of the Black Arts Movement (BAM), Broadside Press, published The Last Ride of Wild Bill and Eleven Narrative Poems, Sterling A. Brown's final collection. As he points out in his preface, Dudley Randall had been requesting, for some time, permission from Brown to reissue much of his poetry; Randall was especially concerned that Southern Road was out of print and therefore largely unavailable to a new generation of highly politicized readers. But Brown's sight was on a new configuration of older works—most of them not found in Southern Road—and a new poem to introduce the collection.
Broadside, a press very much involved in the heated racial politics of the late sixties and early seventies, by definition sought out writers who directly engaged the various ideologies of Black Power and Black Arts. It serves as testament to Brown's longevity and insight that such a press would aggressively pursue a figure much less preoccupied with the immediate polemic than with the continuum of cultural...
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SOURCE: Manson, Michael Tomasek. “Sterling Brown and the ‘Vestiges’ of the Blues: The Role of Race in English Verse Structure.” MELUS 21, no. 1 (spring 1996): 21-40.
[In the following essay, Manson analyzes the verse structure of Brown's “Challenge” and explores the role of race in the poem.]
Although poets continue to discuss the significance of particular poetic forms or verse schemes, literary critics less frequently examine the constitutive nature of such structures.1 We usually comment on large structures like the sonnet or small ones like metrical variations only in order to drive home a point that originated elsewhere, in some other textual, biographical, historical, or cultural inquiry. Less often do we begin with versification as a way of understanding history or ideology, even though it is frequently the starting place for poets.
This trivialization of prosody in literary criticism has as much to do with the dominance of the field by linguists as with the desire of literary critics to move beyond the formalism of the New Criticism and embrace psychoanalysis, marxism, feminism, new historicism, and other extratextual literary theories. The “scientific” density of linguistic analyses of versification make prosody seem stuffy and pointless, while the New Criticism has made verse structure difficult to imagine as anything but a closed, coherent...
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SOURCE: Tidwell, John Edgar. “Two Writers Sharing: Sterling A. Brown, Robert Frost, and ‘In Divés' Dive.’” African American Review 31, no. 3 (autumn 1997): 399-408.
[In the following essay, Tidwell considers the influence of Robert Frost's “In Divés' Dive” on Brown's verse.]
It is late at night and still I am losing, But still I am steady and unaccusing.
As long as the Declaration guards My right to be equal in number of cards,
It is nothing to me who runs the Dive. Let's have a look at another five.
(Robert Frost, “In Divés' Dive”)
In the recent proliferation of conference papers, critical articles, and books discussing the pioneering innovation and enduring significance of Sterling A. Brown's poetry, literary critics and historians have enthusiastically shown a propensity toward tracing the resonance of “influence” in his work. The persistence of this practice can hardly be faulted because, starting in the early 1960s, Brown began explicating himself to younger generations whom he felt were unacquainted with his seminal efforts to define the distinctiveness of African American literature and culture. In numerous formal and informal interviews, poetry readings, and public lectures, Brown professed an indebtedness to precursing and contemporary writers, including English poets (Ernest Dowson, Rudyard Kipling, Thomas...
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SOURCE: Thomas, Lorenzo. “Authenticity and Elevation: Sterling Brown's Theory of the Blues.” African American Review 31, no. 3 (autumn 1997): 409-16.
[In the following essay, Thomas discusses Brown's incorporation of the blues tradition in his poetry, maintaining that he was able to “identify the authentic poetic voice of black America.”]
Every poet must confront a serious problem: how to reconcile one's private preoccupations with the need to make poetry that is both accessible and useful to others. A failure in this area does not, of course, prevent the production of poems. Indeed, some poems—like many of T. S. Eliot's—may be records of this struggle, while others have the disturbingly eloquent beauty of Church testifying or 12-step program witness. One manner of reconciliation is an embrace of what may be called tradition, but even this is problematic.
The idea of tradition made Eliot uneasy; at best he saw it as a living artist's colloquy and competition with the dead (48-50). In his essay “Tradition and the Individual Talent” (1920), Eliot points out that acquiring the “consciousness of the past” is both necessary and perilous for a poet; and eventually, in his description of it, tradition begins to assume the proportions of a face that “sticks that way” (52-53).
As a poet somewhat younger than Eliot, Sterling A. Brown delighted in...
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SOURCE: Rowell, Charles H. “Sterling A. Brown and the Afro-American Folk Tradition.” In Harlem Renaissance Re-examined: A Revised and Expanded Edition, edited by Victor A. Kramer and Robert A. Russ, pp. 333-53. Troy, N.Y.: The Whitson Publishing Company, 1997.
[In the following essay, Rowell explores how Brown's studies of African American folk traditions and culture impacted his poetic work.]
One of the concerted efforts of the “New Negro” writers of the Twenties and Thirties was the attempt to reinterpret black life in America and thereby provide a more accurate, more objective, representation of black people than that popularized in the reactionary and sentimental literature of the preceding decades. Alain Locke, a major voice of the New Negro Movement, wrote in the mid-Twenties that “the Negro to-day wishes to be known for what he is, even in his faults and short comings, and scorns a craven and precarious survival at the price of seeming to be what he is not.”1 In their creative works, many New Negro writers subscribed to that position, for they knew that much of the earlier literature about the black experience in the United States was fraught with distorted images of ante- and post-bellum black Americans—their life and culture and their history and traditions. That is, much of the poetry, fiction and drama about black people was based on the sentimental, plantation and...
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SOURCE: Hirsch, Edward. “Reverberations of a Work Song.” The American Poetry Review 28, no. 2 (March-April 1999): 43-7.
[In the following essay, Hirsch asserts that Brown “turned to folk forms like the blues, spirituals, and work songs to create an accurate, unsentimentalized, and dignified portrait of southern black life in the twentieth century.”]
In 1980 I was energized by the publication of Sterling Brown's Collected Poems, which brought together three important books of poems: Southern Road (1932), one of the key books of American and perhaps the key book of African American poetry in the 1930s; The Last Ride of Wild Bill (1975), a uniquely narrative book of eight idiomatic literary ballads rewritten in African American terms out of the central tall tale tradition of American literature; and No Hiding Place, a group of poems mainly completed in the late 1930s but which found no publisher ready to hand and consequently had to wait some forty years for publication, a fierce durable book that stands as a dramatic companion to Southern Road, re-exploring in a sensitive folk idiom the social nature of the southern black experience. Brown was not, as he has sometimes been treated, a minor satellite of the Harlem Renaissance, but a poet of comparable stature to, say, Claude McKay and Countee Cullen, engaged in a different but parallel poetic revolution. As a young...
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SOURCE: Davey, Elizabeth. “The Souths of Sterling A. Brown.” Southern Cultures 5, no. 2 (summer 1999): 20-45.
[In the following essay, Davey applauds Brown's attempts to present a fuller portrait of the African American experience in the South.]
It is evident that Negro folk culture is breaking up. Where Negro met only with Negro in the black belt the old beliefs strengthened. But when mud traps give way to gravel roads, and black tops and even concrete highways with buses and jalopies and trucks lumbering over them, the world comes closer. The churches and the schools, such as they are, struggle against some of the results of isolation, and the radio plays a part. Even in the backwoods, aerials are mounted on shanties that seem ready to collapse from the extra weight on the roof, or from a good burst of static against the walls. The phonograph is common, the television set is by no means unknown, and down at the four corners store, a juke-box gives out the latest jive. Rural folk closer to towns and cities may on Saturday jaunts even see an occasional movie, where a rootin'-tootin' Western gangster film introduces them to the advancements of civilization. Newspapers, especially the Negro press, give the people a sense of belonging to a larger world, and the tales of the returning veterans, true Marco Polos, also prod the inert into curiosity. Brer Rabbit and Old Jack no longer are enough....
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SOURCE: Gabbin, Joanne V. “The Poetry of Sterling A. Brown: A Study in Form and Meaning.” In African American Literary Criticism, 1773 to 2000, edited by Hazel Arnett Ervin, pp. 247-58. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1999.
[In the following essay, Gabbin assesses the influence of blues, spirituals, and work songs on Brown's poetry.]
With the same literary perspective used in recreating folk subjects and themes, [Sterling] Brown adopted the language and form of Black folklore. In his poetry the language of Black folk—the dialect, the idioms, the imagery, the style—retains its richness and verve. Likewise, the spirituals, blues, ballads, work songs, tall tales, and aphorisms achieve another level of expressiveness as they are absorbed and integrated. Not once doubting the efficacy of folk speech to express all that the people were, Brown brought the use of dialect in poetry to new respectable heights, despite a debate over its value as a literary medium.
In 1922 James Weldon Johnson, writing in the preface of The Book of American Negro Poetry, recognized that Black writers were breaking away from the use of conventionalized Negro dialect. The long association of this kind of dialect with the conventionalized treatment of Black character had convinced Johnson and other writers like Countee Cullen that the poet could not “adequately or artistically” treat a broad spectrum...
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Pinckney, Darryl. “The Last New Negro.” New York Review of Books 36, no. 4 (16 March 1989): 14-16.
Overview of Brown's life and career.
Benson, Kimberly W. “Sterling Brown's After-Song.” Callaloo 5, nos. 1-2 (February-May 1982): 33-42.
Contends that “When De Saints Go Ma'ching Home” “both explicates and stages the model of authentic expression which constitutes the touchstone of Brown's subtle poetics.”
Collins, Michael. “Risk, Envy and Fear in Sterling Brown's Georgics.” Callaloo 21, no. 4 (fall 1998): 950-67.
Compares Brown's poetry to Virgil's Georgics and investigates the roles of risk and fear in Brown's verse.
Henderson, Stephen E. “The Heavy Blues of Sterling Brown: A Study of Craft and Tradition.” Black American Literature Forum 14, no. 1 (spring 1980): 32-44.
Discusses the influence of the blues tradition on Brown's poetry.
O'Meally, Robert G. “‘Game to the Heart’: Sterling Brown and the Badman.” Callaloo 5, nos. 1-2 (February-May 1982): 43-54.
Examines the image of the black badman in Brown's poetry.
Skinner, Beverly. “Sterling Brown's Poetic Ethnography: A Black and Blues Ontology.”...
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