Brown, Sterling (Allen)(1901–89) poet, teacher, writer; born in Washington, D.C. He graduated from Williams College (B.A. 1925), then Harvard (M.A. 1930), and was based in Washington, D.C. He taught primarily at Howard University (1929–69), and is known as a poet and a founder of black literary criticism, as in Negro Poetry and Drama (1937); but above all he was an influential teacher and encourager of African-American writers in the decades before they were being widely recognized.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.