Curlee Brown

Curlee Brown

 

Curlee Brown, Sr. (1909 - 1976) was an early pioneer and fearless warrior in the struggle for human rights. During an era of unrest and turbulence, before and aft er the passages of the US Civil Rights Act in 1964 and the Kentucky Civil Rights Act in 1966, he led many eff orts in Paducah, Ky., and throughout the state to integrate public faciliti es and encourage inclusiveness and equal rights for African Americans. He won the lawsuit he initi ated to integrate Paducah Junior College, where his son, Curlee Brown, Jr., later became the school’s fi rst African American graduate. Brown Sr. served as president of the Paducah Branch of the NAACP for over 30 years unti l his death. He is well known for acti ng as the steady hand that helped hold together the NAACP in Kentucky during periods of various kinds of pressures and confl icts. Brown, a nati ve of Hollandale, Ms., moved to Helena, Ak., when he was a child. As a teenager, he moved with his family to Paducah. He received his educati on at Lincoln High School and Western Kentucky Industrial College, both in Paducah. Also, he completed studies in carpentry and cabinet-making at Western Kentucky Vocati onal School in Paducah. His quest for civil and human rights was the focus of Curlee’s life. Devoted to his community, he loved people and, above all, wanted equal rights for every person. He also spent much of his life working to make a diff erence through a variety of initi ati ves in the lives of young people, especially in the area of educati on. He encouraged the African American youth of his community to make educati on their top goal.He worked with adults to help address injusti ce and discriminati on on their jobs. On many occasions, he represeted individuals by speaking on their behalf at schools and at their workplaces. Brown had the respect of his family, friends, and even those who, at ti mes, stood in oppositi on. The local newspaper, the Paducah Sun Democrat recognized Brown for his unrelenti ng stance and committ ed service in helping to address, non-violently, desegregati on. Brown received numerous awards and recogniti ons throughout his life. Listed are only a few of those commendati ons: a meritorious certi fi cate in recogniti on of disti nguished service and personal contributi ons of ti me and eff ort to the community in NAACP and human rights, presented by Stone Square, Lodge No. 5 F & AM. The “Curlee Brown Scholarship” given by the Kentucky NAACP to deserving students. The “Curlee Brown Award” given annually by the Paducah Branch of the NAACP to a deserving individual working in the fi eld of human rights. Once asked, “What do you want?” his response was simple: “I want the same things you want; a good job, a good educati on for my children, a car, and a nice home”. Curlee Brown, Sr., died on November 18, 1976, and was eulogized by his friend in the struggle, Reverend James A. Crumlin, former president of the Kentucky Conference of NAACP Branches of Louisville, Ky.
 
 
 
 
 
Click to view or download the poster. Curlee Brown