Tribute to Joseph Alexander Brown

Joseph Alexander Brown

Joseph Alexander Brown

April 14, 1941-June 9, 2002

Joseph Alexander Brown was the General Manager of WHCR-90.3FM from September 1994-June 2002. He was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the radio station and training students in radio broadcasting.

He was Editor-in-Chief for the Sunday Morning Newspaper, May 1988-2002. He was responsible for total operation of publication.

He was Editor-in-Chief for the Metro Exchange Newspaper, New York, May 1987-May 1988. He was responsible for reformatting publication, changing focus from community news to regional feature with special emphasis on good news. He supervised all editorial staff and freelancers. Organized all sales including newsstand and promotional activities.

He was Editor-in-Chief for New York Clique magazine, New York, January 1984-March 1987. As Editor-in-Chief, his responsibilities included all phases of start-up from conception to completion. This regional four-color city magazine was created in January 1984 and premiered in ‘august 1986.

There were two home going services for Joe Brown.  One service was held on June 15, 2002 at Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church in Baltimore MD and one on July 12, 2002 at Convent Ave Baptist Church in Harlem, NY.

Celebration of Life

By the Family of Joseph Alexander Brown

Reverend Joseph Alexander Brown, son of the deceased John Brown and Ruth Brown was born on April 14, 1941 in Baltimore, Maryland. He laid down his cross and received his crown on Sunday, June 9, 2002.

Joe received his high school education at Frederick Douglas High School in Baltimore, Maryland. He then went on to receive his Bachelor of Arts Degree from the College of New Rochelle and his Master of Arts Degree in Christian Education from Fordham University in New York. At the time of his death, he was a Ph.D candidate in the School of Education at Fordham University. His induction into Kappa Delta Pi, the International Honor Society showed his commitment to the pursuit of academic achievement. He was a three-time recipient of the prestigious CEBA Award (Communication Excellence to Black Audiences for his media campaigns.

In 1997 Joe returned to his Alma Mater, the College of New Rochelle, as a professor to teach education courses to adult learners. At the time of his death, Joe was a professor at the City College of New York where he taught in the Media, Communication Arts Department as well as New York Theological Seminary where he taught Christian Education. He had an extensive background in broadcast and print journalism and management dealing and management dealing with news reporting, production and supervision. His work as Chief Editor, Producer and Operations Manager for the National Black Radio Network for 10 years afforded him the opportunity to travel around the world and throughout the United States to interview national and international leaders. His travel took him to such places as China, Japan and Europe. His interview with President Jimmy Carter received front page coverage from the New York Times, as well as other newspaper and magazines around the United States. For the past seven years Joe served as general manager of WHCR-FM Radio at the City College of New York.

Growing up in the Mount Lebanon Baptist Church in Baltimore, Maryland. Joe was a young man who was faithful to God and to his church. This is where he began to build a strong foundation and relationship with God. He sang in the Youth Choir, the Number One Choir and also served on the Jr. Trustee Board. After moving to New York, Joe searched for a new church home. After a long time of prayer and meditation God sent him to Convent Ave Baptist in New York City. This is where he worked and served and continued working for the Lord until his death. Joe was past president of the Men’s Missionary Fellowship, Member of Prayer Cell Group, President of the Church’s Annual Outing Committee, Sanctuary Choir member of which he was president at three different intervals. Counselor to their Senior Citizens Group. Advisor to the Board of Christian Education, President of Counselor to their Senior Citizens Group. Advisor to the Board of Christian Education, President of area 145, board member and former Vice President of M.L. Wilson Boys and Girls Club of Convent Avenue Baptist Church and member of the board of the Black United Fund of New York City. Joe met and married Adrienne Beach in 1984, but is now divorced. Joe was a devoted son, brother, husband, uncle, dedicated Godfather, mentor and forever a soldier for Christ.

He leaves to cherish his memory his mother, Ruth Brown, one brother John Brown, one sister Ernestine Brown-Beach and Monroe Beach. Two Goddaughters Rochelle Nicholas Jones and Sevilla Beach. Three special cousins Shelton Haynes, Florence Elliott and Alberta Reynolds McMillian, some special friends Howard “Steve” Stevens, Virginia Donnelly, Lou Phillips, Leon Graves, Walter Green, Weslene Nicholas and Dolores McWilliams. This is merely a preamble to the person that Joe Brown was. There are not enough words to express all the aspects of his dynamic personality; nor to further examine his character and all the things he was to so many people.

The Joe Brown Newsbreak on WHCR-90.3FM

Angela Harden
General Manager of WHCR 2002-2024

When Professor Linda Prout realized that Joe was too sick to finish teaching his classes last semester, she asked me to take over. As a result, I also volunteered to stand in as Interim General Manager. I really thought that I was just going to hold down the fort until Joe got well. And to be honest, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to clean off his desk. But while I was in his office cleaning off his desk, people stopped by to talk to Joe or they called him on the phone not knowing that he was in the hospital or even sick.

The calls came from City College students, on-air personalities at WHCR, colleagues from Fordham University where he was about to finish his doctorate and just friends who were calling to check on him because they hadn’t heard from him. All these people were from different walks of life, but they all had one thing in common, they all said that Joe had helped them, he taught them and he encouraged them. And I thought wow, he must have taken as much time when them as he took with me when I was his student. Now that’s a lot of love for the craft of journalism and love and compassion for people.

I recently came across a short quote: I don’t remember who said it or if I’m quoting it verbatim, but I want to share it with you because it reminds me of Joe because it speaks to his character. It goes like this:

A quote from Maya Angelou reminds me of Joe: “People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Even when Joe had to speak to us because we weren’t being objective journalists and he did that often because he saw WHCR as a place to feed people’s minds, he still made us feel like we could win when we were armed with all the facts. And as long as we keep that part of him alive in our hearts, we can all win.

To make sure that people never forget Joe, I asked our News Director, Keziah Glow to name her news segment “The Joe Brown News Break.” It is not a typical news segment filled with crime and war, TV news is filled with that. The Joe Brown News Break starts with travel updates for roads, buses and subways and whether alternate street parking rules are in effect. She then goes on to tell seniors how they can take computer training courses at the public library, information on community board meetings and housing clinics that help with addiction prevention. This I feel is the kind of news Harlem needs to sustain a better quality of life. I hope that Joe is somewhere smiling whenever he hears it.