Illustration Of John Henry
Johnson Wrote, From The Institute For Research In Social Science, At The University Of North Carolina:
" All questions of the authenticity of the John Henry tradition fade into insignificance before the incontrovertible fact that for his countless admirers John Henry is a reality." Johnson Continues, "To them he will always be a hero, an idol, a symbol of the 'natural man.'"
A Black American Folk Hero Referred To As The "Black Paul Bunyan," John Henry Represents The Struggle Between Man And Machines At The Dawn Of The Industrial Age. There Are More Than 50 Variations Of The John Henry Legend, Popularized In A Ballad, A Work Song, A Folk Story And A Movie. His Legend Has lived For More Than 100 Years.
Most Versions Depict John Henry As A Steel Driver Who Won A Competition Against A Steam Drill, Using Only His Hammer-- And Dropped Dead Immediately Afterward. Some Claim This Happened While He Was Constructing The Big Bend Tunnel On The C&O Railway Line, In 1873. Still Others Say This Took Place While He Worked In A Quarry.
" In Order For Black History To Live, We Must Continue To Breathe Life Into It." -- Hubert Gaddy, Jr.