American Icons: John Henry


Friday, November 24, 2006

John Henry Feature Card_Big

This is America's cautionary tale about working too hard.

The story of John Henry has come to represent the heroic struggle of men and women against encroaching technology, and the loss of jobs. But it wasn't always so. Studio 360's David Krasnow traces the ballad of John Henry back to its origins — a cautionary tale about working too hard.


David Krasnow

Comments [1]

Loralee Cooley from Cordell OK

Interesting that "John Henry" is being discussed....because this is the story that was chosen by four storytellers to share (in their own way) at the recent Oklahoma City Storytelling Festival. The four were: Carol Birch, Bill Harley, Willy Claflin and Tina Alston. These are nationally -renowned artists, and each had a very different take on the "raison d'etre" for the story. Perhaps Bill Harley's was the most unique, in that he told a first-person account of a computer geek who did not see his pink slip coming (cf. John Henry and the steam drill). His biting conclusion--the only time John Henry was even mentioned--caught every listener by surprise.

Since I don't have E-mails handy for any of these artists, the best thing to do if anyone wants to follow up, is to GOOGLE or GOODSEARCH for the Oklahoma City Arts Council, and check out info on the storytelling festival. It was on Saturday, Sept. 11. (Interesting day, what?)

Sep. 24 2010 04:38 PM

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