Wednesday, October 27, 2021
CLOSE
 
Roscoe Brown Jr., Tuskegee Airman and educator, dies at 94
By AP Wire Service
Published July 6, 2016
In this Nov. 11, 2015 file photo, Tuskegee Airmen Roscoe Brown Jr.poses for a picture before the annual Veteran's Day parade in New York. Brown, who served with the all-black Tuskegee Airmen during World War II and was a longtime New York City educator, died Saturday, July 3, 2016, at a hospital in the Bronx. He was 94. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

In this Nov. 11, 2015 file photo, Tuskegee Airmen Roscoe Brown Jr.poses for a picture before the annual Veteran’s Day parade in New York. Brown, who served with the all-black Tuskegee Airmen during World War II and was a longtime New York City educator, died Saturday, July 3, 2016, at a hospital in the Bronx. He was 94. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

Roscoe Brown Jr., who served with the all-black Tuskegee Airmen during World War II and was a longtime New York City educator, has died.

Brown died Saturday at a hospital in the Bronx after breaking his hip in a recent fall, his granddaughter Lisa Bodine said. He was 94.

In 2007, Brown and five other airmen accepted the Congressional Gold Medal on behalf of the Tuskegee Airmen. President George W. Bush and Congress awarded the airmen with one of the nation’s highest honors for fighting to defend their country even as they faced bigotry at home.

Tuskegee Airman Dr. Roscoe Brown Jr., speaks at a Congressional Gold Medal ceremony honoring the Tuskegee Airmen in the Capitol Rotunda.  The group honored were black aviators who fought in WWII.  Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.V., left, and Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., also appear.  (CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

Tuskegee Airman Dr. Roscoe Brown Jr., speaks at a Congressional Gold Medal ceremony honoring the Tuskegee Airmen in the Capitol Rotunda. The group honored were black aviators who fought in WWII. Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.V., left, and Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., also appear. (CQ Roll Call via AP Images)

At the time, Brown told The Associated Press that receiving the medal was one of the greatest days in the history of the Tuskegee Airmen.

ADVERTISEMENT

Brown was a commander of the 100th Fighter Squadron of the 332nd Fighter Group, and is credited with being the first U.S. pilot to shoot down an advanced German military jet, the family noted. He earned numerous awards including the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Nearly 1,000 fighter pilots trained as a segregated Army Air Corps unit at the Tuskegee, Alabama, air base. Not allowed to practice or fight with their white counterparts, the Tuskegee Airmen distinguished themselves by painting the tails of their airplanes red, which led to them becoming known as the “Red Tails.” Their story was told in a 2012 movie of the same name, on which Brown was an adviser.

In a 2011 interview with WNBC-TV, Brown noted that the Civil War occurred only about 70 years before World War II.

“I didn’t understand the brutality of the Civil War, but when I was a Tuskegee Airman, I knew that I was good, I knew that I had to challenge the system, and I loved to fly.”

“My message to young people is to keep on working,” he added. “You’ve got to be better, you’ve got to be disciplined, you’ve got to believe. And if you believe you can overcome. … That’s the story of the Tuskegee Airmen

A native of Washington, D.C., Brown held a doctorate from New York University. He served as president of the Bronx Community College at the City University of New York and director of the Institute of Afro-American Affairs at New York University.

ADVERTISEMENT

He was later professor at The City University of New York Graduate Center and director of the Center for Urban Education Policy.

For many years, he also hosted “African American Legends,” a public affairs show produced by CUNY TV.

During his 17 years at the Bronx Community College, “Dr. Brown intensified the college’s outreach to New York City’s economic and educational institutions through partnerships with business and industry,” said CUNY Chancellor James Milliken. “With his leadership, new programs were developed in high growth professions in the fields of health, technology and human services.”

BET honorees Tuskegee Airmen Colonel Charles McGee USAF Ret. and Dr. Roscoe C. Brown Jr. hold their BET Honor for Service, as actor Terrence Howard hugs them during the BET Honors at the Warner Theatre in Washington on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

BET honorees Tuskegee Airmen Colonel Charles McGee USAF Ret. and Dr. Roscoe C. Brown Jr. hold their BET Honor for Service, as actor Terrence Howard hugs them during the BET Honors at the Warner Theatre in Washington on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

Categories: Celebration of Life | National
Tags: | | | |

Get the Los Angeles Sentinel App!



Since 1933 The Voice of Our Community Speaking for Itself.
88 Years of LA Sentinel.
Black News.
SEARCH:    
Videos


Black Fact of the Day


Photo of the Day

Events

LA Sentinel
in your pocket:





TOS-Cookbook-Web

LA Watts Times

 
© 2021 Los Angeles Sentinel All Rights Reserved • A Bakewell Media Publication

AboutArchivesContact UsCorrections & MisprintsMedia Kit

Terms of ServicePrivacy Policy

LA Watts TimesTaste of Soul

Close / I'm already on the list

Subscribe Today!

Don't be limited anymore! Subscribe Now »

** Existing subscribers, please Login / Register for Digital »

Subscribe to The Los Angeles Sentinel for only $5.99 $3.99 per month, with 1 month free!

Relax in comfort each week as you read the printed newspaper on your own time, delivered weekly to your home or office. This subscription also includes UNLIMITED DIGITAL ACCESS for all of your devices. Includes FREE shipping! One easy payment of $3.99/month gets you:

Subscribe Now »