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Columbia Archiving Papers of William Neal Brown

William Neal Brown when he first began working as social worker in New Jersey and (right) a photo of Brown in later life by Rayon Richards.

Columbia University is archiving the papers of social work educator and alumni William Neal Brown, according to this article on

Brown, who was born in rural Georgia an died at age 90 in 2009, led an extraordinary life. He was part of the famed Tuskegee black airmen group in World War II, was a professor of social work at Rutgers University for 41 years, and in 1961 debated black Muslim leader Malcolm X on black separatism.

Most of the members of the audience thought Malcolm X won the debate. However, Malcolm X later adopted Brown’s views on racial inclusiveness.

“I was a talented debater,” Brown said many years later. “I figured I could take Malcolm X.”

You can read more about Brown’s debate with Malcolm X by clicking here to read an article in Columbia Magazine.

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