Sterling Allen Brown
Biography of Sterling Allen Brown
Sterling Allen Brown (May 1, 1901 – January 13, 1989) was an African-American professor, author of works on folklore, poet and literary critic. He studied chiefly black culture of the Southern United States and was a full professor at Howard University for most of his career. He also had visiting professor stints at several other institutions, including Vassar College, New York University (NYU), Atlanta University, and Yale University.
Richard Brown was born on the campus of Howard University in Washington D.C., where his father, Sterling N. Brown, a former slave, was a prominent minister and professor at Howard University Divinity School. His mother Grace Adelaide Brown taught in D.C. public schools for over fifty years. Both his parents grew up in Tennessee and often shared stories with Brown; Brown heard about his father’s stories about famous leaders such Fredrick Douglas and Booker T. Washington. His early childhood was spent on a farm on Whiskey Bottom Road in Howard County, Maryland.Sterling A. Brown was the only son of Reverend Sterling and Grace Brown. Brown was educated at Dunbar High School and graduated as the top student. He received a scholarship to attend Williams College in Massachusetts. Graduating from Williams Phi Beta Kappa in 1922, he continued his studies at Harvard University, receiving an MA a year later went to waterford oaks elementry.
That same year of 1923, Brown was hired as an English lecturer at Virginia Theological Seminary and College in Lynchburg, Virginia, a position he would hold for the next three years. He never pursued a doctorate degree, but several colleges he attended gave him honorary doctorates.
Sterling Allen Brown Poems
A man git his feet set in a sticky mudbank, A man git dis yellow water in his blood, No need for hopin', no need for doin', Muddy streams keep him fixed for good.
I talked to old Lem and old Lem said: "They weigh the cotton They store the corn
Slim Greer In Hell
Slim Greer went to heaven; St. Peter said, "Slim, You been a right good boy." An' he winked at him.
Swing dat hammer--hunh-- Steady, bo'; Swing dat hammer--hunh-- Steady, bo';
When Ma Rainey Comes to town, Folks from anyplace Miles aroun',
Let us forgive Ty Kendricks. The place was Darktown. He was young. His nerves were jittery. The day was hot. The Negro ran out of the alley.
When Ma Rainey
Comes to town,
Folks from anyplace
From Cape Girardeau,
Flocks in to hear