John Henry Statue at the Great Bend Tunnel
(where I grew up)
We definitely don't think of him as a legend
or a myth - but a true hero!
Print Available - HERE
John Henry is an African American folk hero .... He is said to have worked as a "steel-driving man" a man tasked with hammering a steel drill into rock to make holes for explosives to blast the rock in constructing a railroad tunnel. According to legend, John Henry's prowess as a steel-driver was measured in a race against a steam powered hammer, which he won, only to die in victory with his hammer in his hand as his heart gave out from stress. The story of John Henry is told in a classic folk song, which exists in many versions, and has been the subject of numerous stories, plays, books and novels.