Benjamin Griffith Brawley

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Benjamin Griffith Brawley (April 22, 1882 - February 1, 1939) was a prominent African-American author and educator. Several of his books were considered standard college texts, including The Negro in Literature and Art in the United States (1918) and New Survey of English Literature (1925).[1]

Born in 1882 in Columbia, South Carolina, Brawley was the second son of Edward McKnight Brawley and Margaret Dickerson Brawley.[2] He studied at Atlanta Baptist College (renamed Morehouse College), graduating in 1901, earned his second BA in 1906 from the University of Chicago,[1] and received his Master's degree from Harvard University in 1908.[2] Brawley taught in the English departments at Atlanta Baptist College, Howard University, and Shaw University.

He served as the first Dean of Morehouse College from 1912 to 1920 before returning to Howard University in 1937 where he served as chair of the English department.[2] He wrote a good deal of poetry, but is best known for his prose work including: History of Morehouse College (1917); The Negro Literature and Art (1918); A Short History of the American Negro (1919); A Short History of the English Drama (1921); A Social History of the American Negro (1921); A New Survey of English Literature (1925).

Publications and selected writings[edit]

  • A Toast to Love and Death (poems), Atlanta Baptist College, 1902.
  • The Problem, and Other Poems (poems), Atlanta Baptist College, 1905.
  • A Short History of the American Negro, Macmillan, 1913; 4th revised edition, 1939.
  • History of Morehouse College, Morehouse College (Atlanta, GA), 1917; reprinted, McGrath Publishing, 1970.
  • The Negro in Literature and Art in the United States, Duffield, 1918, revised edition, 1921; revised and retitled The Negro Genius: A New Appraisal of the Achievement of the American Negro in Literature and the Fine Arts, Dodd, 1937; reprinted, Biblo & Tannen, 1966.
  • A Short History of the English Drama, Harcourt, 1921; reprinted, Books for Libraries, 1969.
  • A Social History of the American Negro, Macmillan, 1921; reprinted, AMS Press, 1971.
  • New Survey of English Literature: A Textbook for Colleges, Knopf, 1925, reprinted, 1930.
  • A History of the English Hymn, Abingdon, 1932.
  • (Editor) Early Negro American Writers, University of North Carolina Press, 1935; reprinted, Books for Libraries, 1968.
  • Paul Laurence Dunbar, Poet of His People, University of North Carolina Press, 1936, reprinted, Kennikat, 1967.
  • Negro Builders and Heroes, University of North Carolina Press, 1937; reprinted, 1965.
  • The Seven Sleepers of Ephesys (poems), Foote & Davis (Atlanta, GA), 1971.[3]

Further reading[edit]

  • John W. Parker, "Phylon Profile XIX: Benjamin Brawley — Scholar and Teacher", Phylon (1940-1956), Vol. 10, No. 1 (1st Qtr. 1949).


External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Roger M. Valade III, The Essential Black Literature Guide, Visible Ink, in association with the Schomburg Center, 1996; p. 53
  2. ^ a b c "Brawley, Benjamin Griffith (1882-1939)", at Blackpast.org
  3. ^ Benjamin Brawley Answers.com