Folklore studies at Samford, led by history professor Dr. Jim Brown starting in 1973, have centered on experiential learning opportunities allowing students to interact with folk orature, material culture, and music. For decades Dr. Brown led students across the South by car, in canoes, and on foot – immersing them in the folkways of the region. His folklore class included sketching tulip poplars, canoeing, red horse fishing, splitting river cane, weaving Cherokee baskets, and Sacred Harp hymn singing. Brown shaped a semester course that communicated his love for the people and places of the South.
"They will sing until, say, eleven o’clock and might have an intermission before eleven. Then they have the preaching hour. And when the preaching hour is over, say, we will say twelve, they spread lunch, and then the rest of the day is singing."
"One time down there, what they called Trots Ford, was a hole. You know, we never would. . . More people got to where they’d snare, and got where they’d go women and all, go down and snare. Drag, you know, with them loops."
"Well, the best sign we have is these poplar trees. Whenever they go to blooming."