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Paul E.X. Brown WERD records

Identifier: aarl97-010

Scope and Content Note

The materials included in this collection are records of WERD, Atlanta's first Black owned and operated Radio Station. The records are composed of program schedules, correspondence, and some ephemeral items. A large portion of these records are the sworn affidavits of the owners, stockholders, and employees of WERD. These testimonies were sent to the Federal Communications Commissions (FCC) in Washington, D. C. for the increase of power to the radio station. The collection also contains several audio and reel-to-reel tapes of various events discussed or broadcasted by WERD. The materials in this collection roughly spans the 1940's and 1950's. These items were donated to the Archives Division by Paul E. X. Brown.


  • 1949-1955


Restrictions on Use

There are no restrictions on research use of this collection.

Copyright Restrictions

Prior permission from the Research Library must be obtained in writing before any portion of this collection can be published or reproduced.

Historical Sketch

Paul E. X. Brown, former radio and newspaper personality, spent almost six years at WERD as an Announcer, and was Program Director when the Station celebrated its 5th anniversary. Mr. Brown was born in Weir, Mississippi in 1910 and was raised in St. Louis, Missouri, where he began his high school education. The eldest of eleven children, Mr. Brown attended the University of Minnesota and Radio School at Columbia College.

In 1947, Paul Brown came to Atlanta as the editor of the Prince Hall Masonic Review. From there he became an announcer for WEAS Radio Station in Decatur, Georgia, where he hosted a Saturday morning program, played gospel music and read church news on Sunday mornings. The same year Mr. Brown married Verna Alexander Brown. She is a retired Atlanta Board of Education employee who worked at Carver High School for 32 years.

In 1949, Mr. Brown became a part-time announcer for WERD, Atlanta's first Black-owned and operated radio station. In 1950, Mr. Brown took his show on the road becoming Chief Announcer and News Editor for Birmingham, Alabama's WEDR Radio Station. He returned to Atlanta in 1951 as an Announcer for WERD. In 1962, Paul E. X. Brown became a Sales and Marketing Representative for the Coca-Cola Bottling Company in Atlanta.

Known for his community involvement, Mr. Brown's is most noted during the 1954-56 Atlanta Rape Case. He and other Black media personalities in Atlanta protested against the unfair treatment, trial and sentencing of Frederick Mosley to the electric chair for a crime which they believed he did not commit. As a result, Mr. Brown established the Gospel Fund as a means to eliminate the unfair treatment of Blacks who have become victims of the Judicial System of Atlanta.

Paul Brown is a Prince Hall Mason (33rd degree), a Shriner and an Elk. He is a member of the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity and has contributed to the YMCA as a Lay Leader. He was also Chairman of Activities for the Boy Scouts of America, and has been a member of the Adelphi Club. In recent years Mr. Brown continues to be involved in community-related activities, and still resides in the city of Atlanta.


1.5 Linear feet




The collection contains records from 1949 to 1955 of WERD, Atlanta's first African American-owned and operated radio station, that were collected by Paul E. X. Brown and include program schedules, correspondence, some ephemeral items, sworn affidavits of owners operators, and employees of WERD, many from Jessie B. Blayton, as well as several audio cassettes and reel-to-reel tapes of political commentary and programming from 1953 to 1961. The affidavits concern the station's 1954 bid to the FCC for a power increase, and transcripts of This is My Faith and Atlanta Confidential are also included.

Related Materials in This Repository

Inventory of the Paul E. X. Brown WERD Records aarl97-010 aarl97-010
Finding aid prepared by Finding aid prepared by Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History
2004 September 15
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African-American Culture and History Repository

101 Auburn Avenue NE
Atlanta GA 30303