Tony Brown (journalist)

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Tony Brown
Born (1933-04-11) April 11, 1933 (age 81)
Charleston, West Virginia, U.S.
Occupation Journalist, College Dean - Hampton University, President/CEO - Tony Brown Productions
Website
TonyBrown.com

William Anthony "Tony" Brown (born April 11, 1933) is an American journalist, academian,comedian and businessman. He is best known as the commentator of the long running syndicated television show, Tony Brown's Journal.[1]

Brown is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.

Accomplishments[edit]

Campaigned Hard for Black Education and Economic Empowerment[edit]

Throughout the 1980s, Brown was instrumental in improving the outlook and atmosphere for African Americans in the academic world. He launched "Black College Day" in 1982, in what was called a one-man effort to save and support colleges dedicated to serving blacks. In 1985, he founded the Council for the Economic Development of Black Americans, whose motto is "Buy Freedom." The group's main platform is that blacks should patronize businesses displaying the "Freedom Seal," which signified a black owner who had agreed to be courteous, offer competitive prices, provide employment, give discounts, and stay involved in the community. Brown was interviewed in 1983 on KUCB radio station in Des Moines, Iowa. He was interviewed by Harry Flipping, Producer/Host of "Black Press Forum".

Brown's most inspired attempt to reach African Americans through the media came in 1988, when he released a cautionary film about cocaine abuse titled The White Girl.[2] He wrote, directed, produced, and distributed the film himself, and while it was panned by the critics, it gave Brown a medium in which to address what he perceived as "two destructive trends in society: drug addiction and self-hate." Ignoring the negative reviews, he circulated the film throughout the black community for the next 18 months. Local groups showed it for a small profit, benefiting both Brown and charitable causes.[3]

Anti-Hindu controversy[edit]

In 2001, Tony Brown, made several derogatory anti-Hindu remarks in his talk show on WLS 890 AM that began with the concern among American workers about the influx of software engineers from India. He evoked anti-Hindu canards such as exaggerating the importance of the Caste System in Hinduism, and made remarks about Human rights in India. Protests by Indian-American community leaders led to a public apology by Brown for his remarks against Hindus and Hinduism. In his apology, Brown said:

The statements I made were derived from either books or articles that I read. Still, I had not considered the possibility of bigots using the information to persecute the Hindu minority in this country.That does not excuse me from the pain that I have caused by not being more circumspect.[4]

After his apology, Brown also invited Swami Atmajnanananda of the Washington branch of the Ramakrishna Mission and an Indian journalist based in Chicago, J V Lakshmana Rao, to participate in the talk show. Atmajnanananda said one must draw a distinction between caste and casteism. He said:

The assumption that Hindus are inherently racists is dangerous. Caste does not play a role in one's occupation any more. One should not use the pitfalls of the Indian culture to attack Hinduism.[4]

Clearing Brown's misconceptions about lower castes "being persecuted in India", Rao spoke of affirmative actions in favor of the lower castes by the Government of India.

Bibliography[edit]

  • 1997 Black Lies, White Lies: The Truth According to Tony Brown. ISBN 9780688132705
  • 1999 Empower the People: Overthrow The Conspiracy That Is Stealing Your Money And Freedom. ISBN 9780688157623
  • 2004 What Mama Taught Me: The Seven Core Values of Life. ISBN 9780060188696

References[edit]

  1. ^ New York Times
  2. ^ New York Times
  3. ^ Campaigned Hard for Black Education and Economic Empowerment, answers.com
  4. ^ a b US radio host apologises over anti-Hindu remarks, rediff.com

External links[edit]