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Subject: Lloyd L. Brown, 89, Journalist and Paul Robeson Biographer


Author:
Manhattan
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Date Posted: April 14, 2003 4:07:37 EDT

Lloyd L. Brown, a journalist and novelist who helped Paul Robeson write his autobiography, "Here I Stand," and was an editor at the leftist literary journal New Masses, died at his home in Manhattan on April 1. He was 89.

Published in 1958, "Here I Stand" chronicled Robeson's career as an actor and advocate, focusing on his demands for equality for African-Americans and on the campaign to silence him in the McCarthy era.

Mr. Brown had worked with Robeson since 1950 and helped him write his column for Freedom, the Harlem newspaper Robeson founded. Mr. Brown also wrote the biography "The Young Paul Robeson: `On My Journey Now,' " published by Westview Press in 1997.

Born in St. Paul in 1913, Lloyd Louis Brown traveled to Europe as a freelance journalist in the 1930's to report on the antifascist movement. After serving in the Army Air Forces in World War II, he became managing editor of New Masses, a weekly journal that published works by literary figures like Richard Wright, Langston Hughes and Ralph Ellison.

Mr. Brown wrote a novel, "Iron City," based partly on his experience as a trade union organizer in the Midwest. It was first published in 1951 and reissued by the Northeastern Library of Black Literature in 1994.

He also wrote about facing discrimination in the military. In an article on the Op-Ed page of The New York Times in 1973, responding to an article by a veteran expressing fond memories of being stationed in Salina, Kan., Mr. Brown said he had experienced a different Salina, one where restaurants would serve the German prisoners of war who worked at nearby grain elevators but would not admit black American soldiers.

Explaining how he felt at the time, he wrote: "If we were untermenschen in Nazi Germany, they would break our bones. As `colored' men in Salina, they only break our hearts."

Mr. Brown is survived by his daughters, Linda and Bonnie, both of Manhattan; a brother, Ralph Dight, of Manhattan; and two grandchildren. His wife, Lily, who died in 1996, was a community leader in Washington Heights. The playground in Fort Washington Park at Riverside Drive and 162nd Street is named for her.

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