University of Pittsburgh
February 4, 2010

Tuskegee Airman Roscoe C. Brown Jr. to Present Guest Lecture at Pitt Event Honoring Renowned World War II Fighter Group

Feb. 9 presentation by Brown-a noted scholar on urban education and past editor of the "Negro Almanac"-is part of Pitt's Black History Month celebration and will explore the storied WW II pilots' educational legacy for African Americans
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-A captain and pilot in the U.S. Army Air Forces' Tuskegee Airmen fighter group will join the University of Pittsburgh in honoring the educational accomplishments and legacy of the renowned African American World War II aviators. Titled "Tuskegee Airmen: A Model for Excellence," the Feb. 9 event begins at noon in Room 1175, Benedum Hall, 3700 O'Hara St., Oakland and is sponsored by Pitt's Swanson School of Engineering, School of Education, Office of Public Affairs, and Office of Student Affairs in recognition of Black History Month.

Guest speaker Roscoe C. Brown Jr. commanded the 100th Fighter Squadron of the all-Black 332nd Fighter Group during World War II, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal with eight Oak Leaf Clusters, denoting multiple decorations. Brown is credited with being the first fighter pilot of the 15th Air Force-a massive Army Air Forces combat group operating in the Mediterranean-to shoot down a German jet fighter, and he has been honored by the Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum in New York City for his outstanding leadership as squadron commander.

Born in Washington, D.C., in 1922, Brown joined the Army Air Forces in 1943 after graduating from Springfield College in Massachusetts. Returning from Europe in 1946, he enrolled at New York University and earned his master's and PhD degrees in physical education in 1949 and 1951, respectively.

Brown has focused his professional life on resolving the policy and social problems facing urban schools through better school management and parental involvement. He currently directs the City University of New York's Center for Urban Education Policy, which studies and analyzes these issues. He previously served as director of the Institute of Afro-American Affairs at New York University. His many publications range from such education-issue guides as "Education Vouchers: Can Public Education Meet the Challenge?" (Urban Issues Group, 1998), to the widely read reference work "The Negro Almanac," as well as more than 60 articles in such scholarly journals as the "Annals of Political and Social Science, Black Issues in Higher Education," and the "Journal of Negro Education."

In addition to pursuing his academic career, Brown served on the national boards of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and the American Council on Education. He also has received numerous awards and honors for his work, including the NAACP Freedom Award, the Congressional Award for Service to the African American Community, and distinguished alumnus awards from New York University and Springfield College.

For more information, contact Terri Cook in the Swanson School's Office of Diversity at 412-624-9842 or