“Sterling Allen Brown: (1901-1989) American poet, folklorist, editor, and critic. Brown was one of the first writers to identify folklore as a vital component of the black aesthetic and an important form of artistic expression. His first collection of poems, Southern Road (1932), was a critical success, fusing elements of ballads, spirituals, work songs, and the blues into narrative poems generally written in a Southern dialect. Two of Brown’s works written in 1937, Negro Poetry and Drama and The Negro in American Fiction, are major books of criticism on African-American studies. In 1941, Brown, along with colleagues Arthur P. Davis and Ulysses S. Lee, edited the The Negro Caravan, which was considered by many “the anthology of African-American literature.” With the publication of The Collected Poems of Sterling A. Brown (1980), Brown won the 1982 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize and received widespread and deserved recognition.”
Excerpted from: Murphy, Bruce, ed. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, Fourth Edition. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.