Folk Aesthetics and the Spirituals in Southern Road

Sterling Brown’s scholarship in folk culture and African American history is unparalleled when considering the poets of the Harlem Renaissance. Brown’s first collection of poems, Southern Road, was published in 1932 to high critical acclaim. Although he is often thought of as a blues poet, his influences included folk ballads, work songs, secular songs and stories, as well as spirituals passed on through generations.

Sexual Exploitation and Family Relations in Slave Narratives

In the narratives of Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, and many others, the family unit under slavery is torn apart as slaveholders methodically take advantage of the sense of alienation that … Read More