Name and location of repository
Level of description
Interview with Aaron Brown
- 1975 (Creation)
.1 cubic feet; 1 audiocassette (35 min., 55 sec.)
Name of creator
Aaron Brown, Jr. was born in Louisiana in 1926 and grew up in Houston, Texas. He served in the U.S. Army from 1944 to 1947. He attended Southern University, then, after one year, transferred to Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, where he earned a pre-med degree in 1951. After graduating, he worked as a teacher. He decided that a career as an educator wasn't for him and he returned to Texas, where he worked on the railroads while attending the University of Texas part time. He attended Northwestern College of Law in Portland, Oregon, and earned his law degree in 1959. That same year, he became the first black member of the Oregon State Bar. He and Alvencie Alford married and they later had three children. Brown became the first black judge in the state of Oregon in 1969, when he was appointed by Mayor Terry Schrunk to pro tem judge on the Portland Municipal Court. Governor Tom McCall appointed him to the Multnomah County District Court in 1971. He retired in 1995 and died in 2016.
Content and structure elements
Scope and content
This interview with Aaron Brown was conducted by an unidentified woman around 1975 for Grassroot News Northwest. In the interview, Brown discusses his early college education and career as a teacher and railroad worker. He then discusses coming to Portland, Oregon, and attending Northwestern College of Law while working as a caseworker for the Oregon Welfare Department. He talks about being appointed as a judge to the Portland Municipal Court in 1969 and to the U.S. District Court of Oregon in 1971, as well as his re-election campaign in 1972. Brown talks about his experience as a black man in the legal profession, including his relationship with the press. He goes on to speak about the black experience in America and how it related to his decision to become a lawyer. He describes his belief in the judicial system, his reasoning behind some his judgements, and his thoughts on why black people are a disproportionate part of the number of people in prison. He closes the interview by discussing his views on drug use among young black people of the 1970s.
System of arrangement
Conditions of access and use elements
Conditions governing access
Collection is open for research.
Conditions governing reproduction
In Copyright – Rights-holder(s) unlocatable or unidentifiable: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC-NC/1.0/
Languages of the material
Scripts of the material
Language and script notes
Acquisition and appraisal elements
Immediate source of acquisition
Gift of Ted Hallock, July 2011 (Lib. Acc. 24523).
Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information
Related materials elements
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related archival materials
Preferred citation: Interview with Aaron Brown, SR 24523-2, Oregon Historical Society Research Library.
This recording was previously identified as SR 1806.
Description control element
Rules or conventions
Finding aid based on DACS (Describing Archives: A Content Standard), 2nd Edition.