Literary Landmark: Founders Library, Howard University - Sterling Brown

Washington, D.C.

Dedicated: 1997

Partners: Federation of Friends of the D.C. Public Library System

1997FoundersLibrary1The Founders Library at Howard University was designated a Literary Landmark on February 14th, 1997 in honor of the life and writings of Sterling A. Brown. The event was sponsored by the Federation of Friends of the D.C. Public Library System.

Sterling Brown was born in Washington, D.C. in 1901. His father was a professor at Howard University. Brown earned his bachelor’s degree at Williams College and received a Master’s Degree from Harvard. He began teaching at Virginia Seminary and College in Lynchburg in 1926. He also taught at universities and colleges in Tennessee, Missouri, Georgia, and New York. He came to teach at Howard University in 1929 and remained there for almost sixty years.


His first book of poetry was published in 1932 and was titled Southern Road. His time spent teaching in the South gave him the inspiration and vision for the African-American folklore that became his signature. He devoted his life to the development of authentic black folk literature. Sterling Brown died in 1989 in Takoma Park, Maryland.


The Founders Library Building: Pictorial History

Howard University Libraries

A Literary Tribute to Sterling A. Brown