Benjamin Griffith Brawley

Benjamin Griffith Brawley

Benjamin Griffith Brawley

Benjamin Brawley (1882-1939) was a prominent African American author and educator. He studied at Atlanta Baptist College, University of Chicago, and Harvard, and he taught at Atlanta Baptist College, Howard University, and Shaw University. Women of Achievement (c1919) is one of Brawley’s numerous books and articles on African American culture. Brawley also published widely in literary studies.

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).

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