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Sterling Brown Bio

 

 

Books by Sterling Brown

Southern Road / The Negro Caravan / The Collected Poems of Sterling Brown  /

The Negro in American Fiction; Negro Poetry and Drama  / Last Ride of Wild Bill and Eleven Narrative Poems

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Books about Sterling Brown

Joanne,Gabbin. Sterling A. Brown: Building the Black Aesthetic Tradition (1994)

John Edgar Tidwell, Sterling A. Brown's A Negro Looks at the South (2007)

Charles Rowell. Callaloo's Sterling A. Brown: Special Issue (1998)

Mark A. Sanders. Afro-Modernist Aesthetics & the Poetry of Sterling Brown (1999)

Mark A. Sanders. A Son's Return: Selected Essays of Sterling Brown (1996)

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Bio-Sketch

Sterling Allen Brown (1901-1989), author, critic, professor, Poet Laureate for Washington, DC, and "the Dean  of American Poets," was born on Howard University's campus at the site where Cook Hall Dormitory now stands,  in a house on Sixth and Fairmount in Washington, DC,  Brown was the last of six children born to Reverend Sterling Nelson and Adelaid Allen Brown. He grew up on the campus of Howard University, where his father taught in the School of Religion. He was educated in the District of Columbia Public Schools and received his Bachelor's degree from Williams College (Williamstown, MA) in 1922 with honors as a Phi Beta Kappa. Brown entered graduate school and received his Master's degree from Harvard University in 1923. 

He taught at Virginia Seminary in Lynchburg, Virginia; Fisk University, Nashville, Tennessee; and Lincoln University in Missouri. He was a visiting lecturer at Atlanta University, New York University and Vassar College.  Sterling Brown joined the Howard University faculty in 1929 and remained associated with Howard for almost sixty years. His poem "Strong Men," from his book entitled Southern Road (1931), celebrates the enduring spirit of Black people in the face of  racial oppression and political exploitation. The poem captures the horrors of the Middle Passage and reflects the "idea of Black stoicism," Brown explains in Southern Road. According to literary critic Joanne V. Gabbin, "During the 1930s and 1940s, Brown's studies of the folk experience and culture were the fullest of any in the field." 

In his book,  The Negro in American Fiction (1937), Brown shows parallels of how treatment of an oppressed group in literature reflects its treatment in life. His pioneering work brought recognition to African-American literature and folklore.

Primary Works
Southern Road , 1932; "Negro Characters as Seen by White Authors," 1933; Negro Poetry and Drama, 1938; The Negro in American Fiction, 1938 ( PS374 N4 B7); The Negro Caravan  (an anthology, co edited with Arthur P. Davis and Ulysses Lee), 1941 ( PS508.N3 B75); The Collected Poems of Sterling Brown , 1980.
Brown, Sterling A. "A Century of Negro Portraiture in American Literature." Massachusetts Review 7 (1966): 73-96.
- - -. The Negro in American Fiction; Negro Poetry and Drama. NY: Arno, 1969.
- - -. "Arna Bontemps: Co-Worker, Comrade." Black World 22.1 (1973): 1, 11,91-97.
- - -. Last Ride of Wild Bill and Eleven Narrative Poems. Detroit: Broadside Press, 1975. PS3503 R833 L3
- - -. "A Son's Return 'Oh, Didn't He Ramble'." Chant of Saints A Gathering of Afro American Literature, Art, and Scholarship. Eds. Michael Harper and others. Urbana: U of Illinois P, 1979.
- - -. "Negro Character as Seen by White Authors." Callaloo 5.1-2 (Feb-May 1982): 55-89.
- - -. "On Dialect Usage." The Slave's Narrative. Eds. Charles T. Davis and Henry Louis Gates Jr. Oxford: Oxford UP, 1985.
- - -. "Our Literary Audience ." Within the Circle: An Anthology of African American Literary Criticism from the Harlem Renaissance to the Present. Ed. Angelyn Mitchell. Durham, NC Duke UP, 1994. 69-78.

Joanne,Gabbin. Sterling A. Brown: Building the Black Aesthetic Tradition (1994)

Southern Road and the "New Negro Renaissance" 

Sterling Brown Papers. Manuscript Division, Moorland-Spingarn Research Center (MSRC). Howard University

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Jazz Dance: The Story of American Vernacular Dance

By Marshall Stearns and Jean Stearns

Marshall Stearns, who taught college English, specializing in Chaucer, loved jazz, thought about jazz, taught about jazz, wrote about jazz, and, as the foundation of all this, took jazz seriously. His The Story of Jazz became a standard work in its field, and he then went on to document the dancing that went with the music. With his wife Jean, he spent seven years doing research, not only in libraries but among the living archives of dancers' memories. They conducted interviews with every jazz dancer they could find, at a time when jazz dancers seemed to be members of an endangered species.

Now, thanks to Da Capo Press, Jazz Dance is again available, as a paperback ($16.95), augmented with a new foreword and afterword by Brenda Bufalino, artistic director of the American Tap Dance Orchestra.Although the book takes its subject only up to 1966when Marshall Stearns died of a heart attack shortly after the manuscript was completedit's still essential reading for anyone interested in jazz, in dance, and in the American musical theater.FindArticles

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AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books

 

Fiction

#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#2 - Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
#4 - Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper
#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Eroticanoir.com Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 - The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter

Non-fiction

#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America

By Melissa V. Harris-Perry

According to the author, this society has historically exerted considerable pressure on black females to fit into one of a handful of stereotypes, primarily, the Mammy, the Matriarch or the Jezebel.  The selfless Mammy’s behavior is marked by a slavish devotion to white folks’ domestic concerns, often at the expense of those of her own family’s needs. By contrast, the relatively-hedonistic Jezebel is a sexually-insatiable temptress. And the Matriarch is generally thought of as an emasculating figure who denigrates black men, ala the characters Sapphire and Aunt Esther on the television shows Amos and Andy and Sanford and Son, respectively.     

Professor Perry points out how the propagation of these harmful myths have served the mainstream culture well. For instance, the Mammy suggests that it is almost second nature for black females to feel a maternal instinct towards Caucasian babies.

As for the source of the Jezebel, black women had no control over their own bodies during slavery given that they were being auctioned off and bred to maximize profits. Nonetheless, it was in the interest of plantation owners to propagate the lie that sisters were sluts inclined to mate indiscriminately.

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Sex at the Margins

Migration, Labour Markets and the Rescue Industry

By Laura María Agustín

This book explodes several myths: that selling sex is completely different from any other kind of work, that migrants who sell sex are passive victims and that the multitude of people out to save them are without self-interest. Laura Agustín makes a passionate case against these stereotypes, arguing that the label 'trafficked' does not accurately describe migrants' lives and that the 'rescue industry' serves to disempower them. Based on extensive research amongst both migrants who sell sex and social helpers, Sex at the Margins provides a radically different analysis. Frequently, says Agustin, migrants make rational choices to travel and work in the sex industry, and although they are treated like a marginalised group they form part of the dynamic global economy. Both powerful and controversial, this book is essential reading for all those who want to understand the increasingly important relationship between sex markets, migration and the desire for social justice. "Sex at the Margins rips apart distinctions between migrants, service work and sexual labour and reveals the utter complexity of the contemporary sex industry. This book is set to be a trailblazer in the study of sexuality."—Lisa Adkins, University of London

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The Warmth of Other Suns

The Epic Story of America's Great Migration

By Isabel Wilkerson

Ida Mae Brandon Gladney, a sharecropper's wife, left Mississippi for Milwaukee in 1937, after her cousin was falsely accused of stealing a white man's turkeys and was almost beaten to death. In 1945, George Swanson Starling, a citrus picker, fled Florida for Harlem after learning of the grove owners' plans to give him a "necktie party" (a lynching). Robert Joseph Pershing Foster made his trek from Louisiana to California in 1953, embittered by "the absurdity that he was doing surgery for the United States Army and couldn't operate in his own home town." Anchored to these three stories is Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Wilkerson's magnificent, extensively researched study of the "great migration," the exodus of six million black Southerners out of the terror of Jim Crow to an "uncertain existence" in the North and Midwest. Wilkerson deftly incorporates sociological and historical studies into the novelistic narratives of Gladney, Starling, and Pershing settling in new lands, building anew, and often finding that they have not left racism behind. The drama, poignancy, and romance of a classic immigrant saga pervade this book, hold the reader in its grasp, and resonate long after the reading is done.

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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Negro Digest / Black World

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery / George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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posted 29 June 2008 

 

 

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Related files: The Uprooted Chronicling the Great Migration  Griot Tradition in the Americas