Robert J. Brown Oral History Interview

Created by
Civil Rights History Project, American, founded 2009
Interview of
Brown, Robert J., American, born 1935
Interviewed by
Cline, David P. Ph. D., American, born 1969
Subject of
B&C Associates, Inc., American, founded 1960
President Richard M. Nixon, American, 1913 - 1994
Mandela, Nelson, South African, 1918 - 2013
Duration: 02:10:28
video recordings
oral histories
digital media - born digital
Collection title
Civil Rights History Project
Media Arts-Film and Video
Place collected
High Point, Forsyth County, North Carolina, United States, North and Central America
Place depicted
New York, United States, North and Central America
South Africa, Africa
October 1, 2013
The oral history consists of eleven digital files: 2011.174.106.1a, 2011.174.106.1b, 2011.174.106.1c, 2011.174.106.1d, 2011.174.106.1e, 2011.174.106.1f, 2011.174.106.1g, 2011.174.106.1h, 2011.174.106.1i, 2011.174.106.1j, and 2011.174.106.1k.
Robert Brown describes his childhood in High Point, North Carolina, the poverty and segregation that defined his childhood, and how his grandmother influenced him by telling stories about his family's history during slavery. Brown became one of the first black policemen in High Point and later transitioned to a position as a federal agent in New York. He returned to North Carolina in 1960 to start a public relations firm, B&C Associates, Inc., which advised companies about how to change policies on race and segregation. Brown also shares stories about serving as a special assistant to President Richard Nixon and his role in bringing attention to apartheid in South Africa through his relationship with Nelson Mandela and his family.
LOC ID: afc2010039_crhp0106
American South
Civil rights
Race relations
Social reform
United States--History--1953-1961
United States--History--1961-1969
United States--History--1969-2001
Credit Line
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in partnership with the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress
Object number
Restrictions & Rights
© Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture and The American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

NOTE: Cataloging is an ongoing process and we may update this record as we conduct additional research and review. If you have more information about this object, please contact us at