Singer/songwriter Oscar Brown Jr., June 26

Singer/songwriter Oscar Brown Jr., June 26Oscar Brown Jr., a singer and songwriter whose work reflected the humor and hard truths of the black experience in America, died on June 26. He was 78. Brown died of respiratory failure at St. Joseph's Hospital in Chicago, according to his daughter, Maggie Brown. The multitalented Brown was a poet, actor and activist as well as a musician. In a New York Times interview some years ago, he said he set out to "deliberately present the culture in which I'd grown up. I wanted to present a picture of black culture to anyone who could hear it." His first recorded composition was "Brown Baby," written after the birth of his son and recorded by Mahalia Jackson, Diahann Carroll and Lena Horne, among others. Chicago Tribune/Chris Walker
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