Sterling A. Brown

Born: 1901

Sterling Allen Brown was born in Washington, D.C., on May 1, 1901. He was educated at Dunbar High School and received a bachelor’s degree from Williams College and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. In 1923, he earned a master’s degree from Harvard University and was employed as a teacher at the Virginia Seminary and College in Lynchburg until 1926. Three years later, Brown began teaching at Howard University and, in 1932, his first poetry collection, Southern Road (Harcourt, Brace), was published. Brown then published two critical studies, The Negro in American Fiction and Negro Poetry and Drama, both published by Associates in Negro Folk Education in 1937. He next edited The Negro Caravan (The Citadel Press, 1941), an anthology covering nearly two hundred years of African American poetry. Brown’s poetry was influenced by jazz, the blues, work songs and spirituals. Brown is known for his frank, unsentimental portraits of Black people and their experiences, as well as the incorporation of African American folklore and contemporary idiom into his verse. Brown died on January 13, 1989, in Takoma Park, Maryland. Source