Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York


Dr. Donald Brown

Interviewee: Dr. Donald Brown
Interviewers: Dr. Brian Purnell
Date of Interview: August 11, 2005
Summarized by Christian Rivera

Dr. Donald Brown, a resident of the Patterson houses, was born on February 4th 1948 in Morrisania Hospital in the Bronx. Lula Moore, Donald’s mother, worked as a restaurant waitress. Robert Brown, Donald’s father,  worked as a construction worker for a banana boat company in New York City. Donald went with his mother to Brooke Avenue in the Bronx. After his mother past away, he lived with various relatives( i.e. grandmother, uncle, brother’s godmother). When his father died of cancer, Donald was taken in by Reverend Arthur William Clayton and Mrs. Clayton of the Patterson projects. Mrs. Clayton made sure that Donald did well in school by attending parent meetings at Clarke JHS. Reverend Arthur William Clayton worked as a janitor in Lenox Hill hospital for $40 dollars a week to provide Donald with food and shelter. After attending Public school 53 and Elijah D. Clarke JHS, Donald graduated from Dewitt Clinton High school.
Donald Brown’s cognitive and personal development was augmented by the assistance of mentors. When Donald was placed on probation for stealing a bike, the probation officer, Mr. Hall of the Youth Authorities in New York, encouraged Donald to go to school. When Donald was a sergeant at Camp Minisink, General Wilbur Bergy promoted respect for family, loyalty, service to country and community. The New Bethel Baptist church encouraged Donald to go to college. Donald’s high school Italian teacher, Mrs. Resarie, encouraged him to enter Italian poetry contests within New York City. He came in second in the Italian poetry contests. Doc Bernhard, Donald’s high school advisor, encouraged him to apply to colleges and for scholarships. Donald earned a $10,000 scholarship through the Joseph L. Fischer foundation and gained acceptance to Springfield college. He joined the Upward Bound program with Mr. White and was offered a job as a resident counselor. Additionally, Donald was the president of Afroware( a black student union) that increased the faculty of color, curriculum, and made black students feel welcomed on the Springfield college campus.
After receiving his degree at Springfield College, he became the assistant director of Upward Bound. Donald insists that the most important influence in his life were the love and kindness of Mr. & Mrs. Clayton

Keywords: Patterson Houses, Morrisania Hospital, Charleston South Carolina. Brooke Avenue. Whitehall Georgia. PS 53. John A S Roberts Junior High School. Elijah D. Clarke Junior High School. Spark detention center. Mr.Hall. Youth Authorities in New York. Rev. Arthur William Clayton and Mrs. Clayton. Camp Minisink. Christian Soliders Incorporated. Goodwill Baptist Church. Gestimony Baptist church. New Bethel Baptist church . Dewitt Clinton High School. Springfield college. Joseph L. Fischer foundation. Upward Bound program. Benjamin Elijah Mayes mentoring program. Afroware. Afroam
Dr. Martin Luther King. Rev James A. Miles. Doc Bernhard. 


© 2009 Bronx African-American History Project at Fordham University

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