Scope and arrangement
Earl Brown was an African-American journalist and Harlem politician. The Earl Brown papers date from 1934 to the 1970s and document aspects of Earl Brown's journalistic and political careers, and include correspondence (1934-1960), drafts of his memoirs and other personal observational essays, copies of legislation he sponsored (1950-1952), certificates, invitations, financial records, a commencement address (1952), copies of his published articles, and a scrapbook of news clippings (1949-1961).
The correspondence files contain: critiques of Brown's articles; responses to article proposals; letters requesting Brown to serve on committees; telegrams concerning meeting schedules; letters (1957) related to revisions of U.S. Senate Rule 22 (which pertains to breaking a filibuster); minutes of committee meetings. Correspondents include John K. Jessup (Fortune Magazine), Langdon W. Post (New York City Housing Authority), F.W.H. Adams (New York City Police Commissioner), Senator Robert Wagner, Governor Herbert Lehman, Lieutenant Governor Charles Poletti, and Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Organizations include the National Democratic Committee, Council for Democracy and the National Urban League.
The writings include handwritten and typescript drafts of his memoirs and observations as a public official, including discussions about the way African Americans have voted in New York city and state elections (1970s), in addition to a commencement address given at Agricultural, Mechanical and Normal College in Pine Bluff, Arkansas (1952). There are copies of his published articles: "American Negroes and the War" (Harper's, April, 1942); "The Negro Vote, 1944: A Forecast" (Harper's, July, 1944); "Uncle Mike's Boxing Racket" (reprint from Life, June 17, 1946).
There are also copies of legislation sponsored by Brown as a City councilman (1950-1952), certificates, and a scrapbook of news clippings documenting Brown's political activities (1949-1961) from the New York Amsterdam News, the New York Age Defender, New York World Telegram and Sun, Atlanta Journal, and the Atlanta Constitution.
Also contained are financial records (1952) of the New York Citizens Committee to Elect Adlai Stevens; Brown's Certificate of Election to the New York City Council (1953) and the certificate appointing him to the Commission on Human Rights (1965). There are engraved invitations to special events: Fiorello H. LaGuardia's invitation to welcome King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (1939); the Inaugural Committee's invitations to Lyndon Baines Johnson inaugural activities (1965); a White House dinner menu (1965) autographed by Lyndon Baines Johnson and Lady Bird Johnson.