The Morris Heights Post Office was renamed for Dr. Roscoe C. Brown Jr. during a ceremony hosted by Congressman Jose Serrano on Wednesday, September 20.
Serrano was joined by former Mayor David Dinkins, Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Senator Gustavo Rivera, Assemblyman Victor Pichardo, Council member Vanessa L. Gibson, and Bronx postmaster Lilliam Rodriguez.
“By renaming the Morris Heights Post Office in his honor we have ensured his life and legacy is rightly honored and remembered for generations to come,” Serrano said, adding that Brown dedicated his life to serving his country and helping others achieve greater opportunities.
“He was an African-American trailblazer, a hero in every sense of the word, and a source of pride for all,” Serrano said. “His valiant service in the armed forces during WWII as a Tuskegee Airman, along with his later work as a civil rights leader and educator, strengthened our country, and made it a better place for all Americans.”
Serrano, who has represented the Bronx in Congress since 1990, led the bill, H.R. 6282, in the House of Representatives in September 2016 to rename the post office after Brown, who was also Bronx Community College president for 17 years.
The legislation also garnered support from Congressmen Charles Rangel and Eliot Engel, along with Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, who supported the bill in a letter to the chairman of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee in the Senate.
The post office, 2024 Jerome Avenue, was renamed as a result of passage in Congress of legislation, supported by the entire New York Congressional Delegation, and approved by the Senate. It was then signed into law by former President Obama late in 2016.
“Dr. Brown was a trailblazer who fought heroically for his country despite segregation during World War II and improved the lives of countless New Yorkers and Americans through his work in the Civil Rights Movement and the education field,” Serrano said. “He challenged the status quo and made the Bronx, New York City, and our country a better and more fair place for all.”
Serrano added that Bronxites will now be able to always remember Brown’s life and legacy with this honor.
“Renaming the post office after Dr. Brown will be a lasting tribute to his service to this country, and allow his legacy to live on in an enduring way,” Serrano said.
Brown was a member of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen unit, where he conducted 68 missions and became one of the first African-American fighter pilots to shoot down a German fighter jet during World War II.
His heroism earned him and his fellow airmen a Congressional Gold Medal from President George W. Bush in 2007.
Brown earned his graduate and doctoral degrees from New York University, where he went on to serve as a professor of education and director of Afro-American Affairs.
During the racial upheaval of the 1960s and 1970s, he served as an informal adviser to many civil rights leaders, helped found 100 Black Men, a civic organization advocating for better treatment of African-Americans and a founding member of BronxNet.