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Alfred Msezane

Research physicist Alfred Z. Msezane was born on December 31, 1938 in South Africa. His father, Albert, was a businessman and his mother, Esther, a housewife. Msezane enrolled in the University of South Africa in 1960, where he studied the shape and behavior of one of the most fundamental particles – the electron. Msezane graduated from the University of South Africa in 1964 with his B.S. degree in physics. Msezane then travelled to Canada to conduct research and study at the University of Saskatchewan in Ontario, Canada, where he received his M.S. degree in physics in 1968. Msezane returned to South Africa for a year to conduct research at the Nuclear Physics Research Unit of Witwaterstrand University. Msezane received his Ph.D. degree in physics from the University of Western Ontario in 1973.

Msezane started his long career as a college professor at the University of New Brunswick in 1973 and became a physics instructor in 1976. Msezane immigrated to United States from Canada to complete his postdoctoral research at the Georgia State University in 1974. From 1978 to 1980, he served as a visiting professor at Louisiana State University. In 1980, Msezane joined the faculty of Morehouse College as an assistant professor of physics. He left Morehouse College in 1983 to become a professor at Atlanta University and served as chair of the physics department from 1986 to 1989. In 1988, Atlanta University merged with Clark University to become Clark Atlanta University, and Msezane remained on as a professor of physics. Msezane is the director of the Center for Theoretical Studies of Physical Systems (CTSPS) at Clark Atlanta University. His research team investigates mathematical physics theory, solid matter, and image processing. Msezane’s research on electron interaction with matter and electron configuration within the atom has resulted in over 260 research papers published in scholarly journals.

Msezane is also a member of several professional societies, including the American Physical Society (APS) and the National Society of Black Physicists (NSBP). Msezane was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science degree from the University of Fort Hare (South Africa) in 1998, and is a recipient of the World University Service Scholarship.

Alfred Msezane works in Atlanta, Georgia.

Alfred Msezane was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 11, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.245

Sex

Male

Interview Date

12/11/2012

Last Name

Msezane

Maker Category
Middle Name

Z.

Occupation
Schools

Western University

University of Saskatchewan

University of South Africa

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Alfred

HM ID

MSE01

Favorite Season

Spring

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

I don't have till the second coming.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

12/31/1938

Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

South Africa

Favorite Food

None

Short Description

Physicist Alfred Msezane (1938 - ) , an internationally renowned theoretical physicist, is the director of the Center for Theoretical Studies of Physical Systems (CTSPS) at Clark Atlanta University.

Employment

Witwatersrand University

University of Western Ontario

Georgia State University

University of New Brunswick

Louisiana State University

Morehouse College

Atlanta University

Clark Atlanta University

Favorite Color

Navy Blue

Timing Pairs
0,0:1674,27:3162,47:4836,70:23715,472:32400,527:35800,567:38520,620:38860,625:39285,631:43669,667:45489,686:46399,699:47673,715:59488,906:77630,1049$0,0:3116,45:6642,143:7052,150:7708,160:8036,166:9102,183:9676,192:10004,197:10414,204:10906,211:11234,216:17850,229:23870,262:24870,274:31600,316:32160,326:38320,427:45152,508:46608,520:47840,532:59306,586:102024,1121:102760,1130:103496,1139:109920,1202:111090,1216:112350,1234:112710,1239:124530,1368
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Alfred Msezane's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Alfred Msezane lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Alfred Msezane describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Alfred Msezane describes life in colonized South Africa

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Alfred Msezane describes the people of Swaziland

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Alfred Msezane talks about the colonial history of South Africa

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Alfred Msezane describes his father's family background

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Alfred Msezane talks about the Zulu tribe

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Alfred Msezane talks about his father, and about how his parents met and married

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Alfred Msezane describes his family's life in the city of Johannesburg, South Africa

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Alfred Msezane describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Alfred Msezane describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Alfred Msezane talks about his brother, Richard Msezane, and his first school in Johannesburg

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Alfred Msezane describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Alfred Msezane talks about the toxic gases released from the gold mines of Johannesburg, South Africa

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Alfred Msezane describes his experience in St. Louis Catholic School and Thlakula School

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Alfred Msezane talks about World War II, and his community's involvement in the African National Congress [ANC]

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Alfred Msezane describes his experience in Thlakula School

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Alfred Msezane describes his decision to attend the University of Fort Hare, South Africa

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Alfred Msezane describes the segregation of South African universities and professional practice under the apartheid government

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Alfred Msezane describes the importance of education, as a South African

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Alfred Msezane describes his experience in InKamana High School and at the University of Fort Hare

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Alfred Msezane describes the differences between the British and American education systems

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Alfred Msezane describes his decision to pursue a Ph.D. degree in physics at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Alfred Msezane describes his experience at the University of Saskatchewan

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Alfred Msezane describes his master's degree thesis research

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Alfred Msezane describes his experience at the University of the Witwatersrand, and his departure from South Africa

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Alfred Msezane talks about his late wife, Gail Msezane

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Alfred Msezane describes his Ph.D. dissertation research on collision theory

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Alfred Msezane describes his reasons for not returning to South Africa after his Ph.D. degree

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Alfred Msezane describes his post-doctoral experience at Georgia State University

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Alfred Msezane describes his experience at Louisiana State University and at Morehouse College

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Alfred Msezane talks about his funding relationship with the U.S. Department of Energy

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Alfred Msezane talks about his experience at Morehouse College, and the lack of research infrastructure at HBCUs

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Alfred Msezane describes his experience at Clark Atlanta University

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Alfred Msezane describes his relationship with HistoryMaker Carlos Handy, and their contributions towards research at Clark Atlanta University

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Alfred Msezane talks about meeting Nelson Mandela

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Alfred Msezane discusses his visits to South Africa and the country's current status of physics

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Alfred Msezane talks upon the importance of a formal education to inform political commentary

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Alfred Msezane talks about his participation in conferences, his research in nano-science, and his professional memberships

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Alfred Msezane reflects upon his life's choices

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Alfred Msezane describes his preference for research over administration

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Alfred Msezane reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Alfred Msezane describes his hopes and concerns for the African-American community today

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Alfred Msezane talks about his family

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Alfred Msezane talks about how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Alfred Msezane describes his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

7$7

DATitle
Alfred Msezane describes the importance of education, as a South African
Alfred Msezane describes his post-doctoral experience at Georgia State University
Transcript
You know, (unclear) I will have to say to you, when I was growing up, education was paramount. Now, I want to tell you, you know, what is interesting, because around 1960 or '62 [1962], 1960, there was a treason fire in South Africa, where many of the people, including Albert Luthuli [South African teacher and politician; president of the African National Congress; Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and first African to win a Nobel Prize, 1960/1961] were rounded and charged with treason but where many of us learned was they had some excellent lawyers, like the Jewish community in South Africa was very strong. To cut a long story short, they defeated the government with its own laws, with its own prosecutors and judges, very impressive. So that was motivation for us to go to school. The intellectual capacity of these lawyers, yeah, it's not--it wasn't easy to defeat the South African government at that time. But they could. These people were freed, yeah, we know a treason trial in South Africa meant you would hang at the end of the day.$Okay, so you took a post-doctoral [position] here in the states, right?$$Right.$$Yeah--$$First at Georgia State [University, Atlanta, Georgia] with a friend of mine, Steve Manson. I must say that when I worked with Steve, Steve Manson, M-A-N-S-O-N, changed the dynamics of research completely because his model was first, we have to publish in a prestigious physics journals. Otherwise, we don't count. And that's what, you know, was imbedded in my head. For the first time, I could see us publishing in some of the prestigious physics journals.$$Okay, so when did you publish your first paper?$$Oh, no, about--my first paper was published in, when I was at Western Ontario [University of Western Ontario, London, Canada] for (unclear)--$$Okay.$$But with him, in this--between '75 [1975] and '79 [1979], we published lots of papers with Steve Manson here, and he exposed me to many of these very high-powered physicists. One of them is Ugo Fano from the University of Chicago [Chicago, Illinois], one of the top physicists at that time, yep. And there's a large--and then he also made me attend the meetings of the American Physical Society and introduced me to many people. I also attended the international conferences. And that bothered me because you had, you don't see blacks, even in America.$$Well, not many.$$Yeah, even today, you still don't see many.

Roscoe C. Brown

Roscoe C. Brown, Jr., was born March 9,1922, in Washington, D.C. Brown was the youngest of two children, his father working as a public health specialist and his mother as a teacher. After graduating from Springfield College in 1943, Brown joined the Air Force, where he served as one of the Tuskegee Airmen. During World War II, he served as a squadron commander and received the Distinguished Flying Cross. Returning after the war in 1946, Brown attended New York University, where he earned an M.A. in 1949 and a Ph.D. in 1951.

Before Brown earned his master's degree, he worked as a social investigator with the New York City Department of Welfare and as an instructor in physical education at West Virginia State College until 1948. While working on his doctorate in 1950, he became the director of the Institute of Afro-American Affairs and a professor of education at New York University, where he remained for the next twenty-seven years. In 1977, Brown was named president of Bronx Community College, a part of the City University of New York (CUNY), and continued there until 1993. Brown served as director of the Center for Urban Education Policy at the Graduate School and University Center of CUNY.

Brown was active with a number of organizations, including more than thirty years of service to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. He was also active with the Jackie Robinson Foundation and Libraries for the Future, among many others. Brown was also a founding member of the American College of Sports Medicine.

Active in the media, as well, Brown hosted the television program, African American Legends, and he won the 1973 Emmy Award for Distinguished Program with his weekly series Black Arts. He published numerous articles and contributed to several books, and was the recipient of numerous awards, including the New York City Treasure Centennial Honor from the Museum of the City of New York and the Humanitarian Award from the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. Brown also completed nine New York City marathons. He had four children.

Brown passed away on July 2, 2016 at age 94.

Accession Number

A2003.215

Sex

Male

Interview Date

9/16/2003

Last Name

Brown

Marital Status

Divorced

Middle Name

C.

Schools

Paul Laurence Dunbar High School

Springfield College

New York University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Roscoe

Birth City, State, Country

Washington

HM ID

BRO15

Favorite Season

Fall

State

District of Columbia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Sag Harbor in Long Island, New York

Favorite Quote

None

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

3/9/1922

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

All Food

Death Date

7/2/2016

Short Description

Academic administrator and tuskegee airman Roscoe C. Brown (1922 - 2016 ) was the Director of Urban Education Policy at CUNY.

Employment

New York City Department of Social Welfare

West Virginia State College

New York University

Bronx Community College, CUNY

Favorite Color

Blue, Brown

Timing Pairs
0,0:726,12:6996,199:8184,218:8778,229:9768,252:31645,512:32602,526:33037,532:33385,537:36256,584:39301,632:39736,638:40084,643:46636,762:49524,816:53248,882:65152,1047:65768,1058:66076,1063:66769,1076:67077,1081:70003,1125:82301,1329:87554,1376:95240,1456:96197,1469:98285,1517:101765,1581:120744,1769:123984,1819:124308,1824:128694,1863:129064,1869:131704,1901:132052,1906:132487,1912:135302,1944:136182,1953:138294,1992:144150,2042:144950,2055:145350,2062:149940,2147$0,0:560,13:840,18:1400,28:2100,41:2380,46:2660,51:3290,62:3570,67:15982,228:16598,237:20294,334:30888,509:31240,514:33968,590:44000,728:58145,890:60770,948:61895,966:66020,1038:66470,1045:67070,1055:72838,1151:73510,1159:76120,1186:76546,1194:77043,1202:78108,1221:78463,1227:78818,1233:79244,1240:81232,1290:83480,1307
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Roscoe C. Brown's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Roscoe C. Brown lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about his maternal family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Roscoe C. Brown describes the class distinctions within the African American community in Washington, D.C. during the 1920s and 1930s

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about his father's work in the National Negro Health Movement, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about his father's work in the National Negro Health Movement, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Roscoe C. Brown describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about his mother's activities

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about the expectations for himself and his sister

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about 'Amos 'n' Andy' and other shows based on stereotypes

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Roscoe C. Brown describes his childhood neighborhood in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about how his childhood was structured and remembers family activities

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Roscoe C. Brown describes his family trips to the South

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Roscoe C. Brown recalls his time at Blanche K. Bruce Elementary School in Washington, D.C. and a childhood friend

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about his childhood membership to the 12th Street YMCA in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Roscoe C. Brown describes his religious upbringing

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about his father's prominence as a member of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Black Cabinet

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about attending Camp Atwater

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about summer camps attended by African Americans

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about his activities at Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C. and entering Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Roscoe C. Brown describes the competitive academic environment at Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C.

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about his father and other African Americans in the Black Cabinet under President Franklin D. Roosevelt

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about his experience at Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about black student enrollment at Oberlin College and Springfield College

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about why he began playing lacrosse

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about his experience in Springfield, Massachusetts during college

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about attending summer military camp

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Roscoe C. Brown remembers his post-secondary studies and his interest in merging teaching and health

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Roscoe C. Brown recalls enlisting in the U.S. Army Air Forces

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Roscoe C. Brown explains the Tuskegee Airmen's most significant contribution to World War II

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Roscoe C. Brown remembers several missions completed by the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II, pt.1

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Roscoe C. Brown remembers several missions completed by the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II, pt.2

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Roscoe C. Brown considers the source of his professional ambitions

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Roscoe C. Brown recalls being discriminated against as he applied for a job after returning home from service in World War II

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about his career trajectory after exiting the service and earning his Ph.D.

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about completing his Ph.D. degree at New York University and the birth of his twin sons in 1951

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Roscoe C. Brown recalls prominent African Americans in New York and at New York University in the 1950s and 1960s

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about leveraging the murder of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to boost black student enrollment at New York University

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about the decrease in black professors at New York University since his time there

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about the number of black alumni from New York University as compared to those from HBCUs

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about developing curriculum on African American history

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Roscoe C. Brown recalls how he became president of Bronx Community College in New York, New York

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Roscoe C. Brown details the history of community colleges

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about trends in higher education

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Roscoe C. Brown describes the work that needs to be done to improve higher education

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about coalition politics

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about his writing and describes the Negro Almanac

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Roscoe C. Brown talks about his black culture quiz and the necessity of context beyond stand-alone facts

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Roscoe C. Brown describes his hopes for the African American community

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Roscoe C. Brown reflects upon the factors that contributed to his success

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Roscoe C. Brown reflects upon his legacy

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Roscoe C. Brown reflects upon how he would like to be remembered

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Roscoe C. Brown narrates his photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

11$2

DATitle
Roscoe C. Brown remembers several missions completed by the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II, pt.2
Roscoe C. Brown recalls being discriminated against as he applied for a job after returning home from service in World War II
Transcript
The mission that got you the notoriety, can you just describe what happen--$$The Berlin [Germany] mission that's--$$The Berlin mission, right.$$That's the longest mission of the Fifteenth [U.S.] Air Force, 1,600 miles roundtrip, from Southern Italy to Berlin and return. And it was toward the end of the war, and we were given the assignment along with several other fighter groups of escorting the B-17s over, over Berlin. And when we got close to Berlin, I was leading my squadron, and I saw some jet planes streaking up, which were about a hundred miles faster than ours. And I said to my pilots who were with me to drop your extra fuel tanks so we can get maneuverability and follow me. So I turned upside down and went down--the bombers were here--went down under the bombers with my pilots here. The jets were coming in over here, and they made a hard right turn. And I climbed up, and I got the jet just as he was about to shoot down the bomber plane. The jet blew up, and he bailed out. And my wingman faced a couple of other guys down, shot them down, and we shot down the first three jets over Berlin. And that allowed us to win the Presidential Unit Citation. That's, that's a highlight mission of the Tuskegee Airmen. Tuskegee Airmen also had some other fabulous missions. We're the only fighter group to blow up a Destroyer with fighter planes. They were coming back from a mission, and they were flying I think B-20--B-47s. And they shot at this Destroyer, and it so happened they hit the magazine, and the plane blew up, it blew it. We also had great missions to Athens. We liberated the Athens' air, airbase. We probably shot up every, every airbase in Europe, in Southern Europe. We had a tre--tremendous record. We had one ace, Lee Archer, who's my best friend today. He shot down five planes. And Clarence Lester shot down three planes. And Harry Stewart shot down three planes. And we altogether shot down 111 planes. We destroyed about 120 on the ground, and had this outstanding combat record of never having lost a bomber that we were escorting to enemy fighters. That's really what we're known for.$But what I'm also saying is that you did have your minutes of fame when you returned, right?$$They were very short because my, my favorite story is that when I got back I was going to try to fly in the airlines before I went to graduate school. And I went to Eastern Air Lines on 5th, 5th Avenue [New York, New York] and filled this application with all of my hours and so on. And as I was going out the door, I had forgotten a New York Times I had brought with me. I was looking at the want ads, and so I went back to get the Times, and the secretary, white secretary, was throwing the application in the waste basket. And her face got red, and she said, "I'm sorry, we don't hire Negroes here." So my--(unclear)--welcome back to the good old U.S.A. So you can't get too high when, you know, the rest of the world--see, you can be high inside, but you realize the mountain you still have yet to climb. And that's why I became active in the American Veterans Association [ph.], which was the, the liberal veterans organization. I became active in politics, the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People], and the Henry Wallace campaign, and the, and the unions, because that's the way you bring about social change. You, you can't bring about social change just by yourself.