John Henry (folklore)

John Henry is an American folk hero, who has been the subject of numerous songs, stories, plays, and novels.

John Henry also served as a mythical representation of a group within the melting pot of the 19th-century working class. In the most popular version of the story, Henry is born into the world big and strong. He grows to become the greatest “steel-driver” in the mid-century push to erect the railroads across the mountains to the West.

When the owner of the railroad buys a steam-powered hammer to do the work of his mostly black driving crew, to save his job and the jobs of his men, John Henry challenges the owner to a contest: himself alone versus the steam hammer. John Henry beats the machine, but exhausted, collapses, and dies.

click here for more..

Advertisements

One comment

  1. Pingback: working class hero | Digg hot tags

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s