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Article updated: 2/27/2012 5:28 PM

Aurora names Kane judge city's outstanding African-American

By Harry Hitzeman

F. Keith Brown, former 16th Judicial Circuit chief judge and current circuit court judge, has been named Aurora's Outstanding African-American for 2012 and will be honored at a breakfast on Thursday.

Brown will be recognized at the eighth annual African-American Heritage Advisory Board Celebration at 7:30 a.m. Thursday at Gaslite Manor, 2485 Church Road. Aurora.

Brown, an Elgin resident, said he tried to serve all residents during his three-year term as the circuit's first black chief judge that ended last December.

"I was just trying to benefit everyone who I served," he said Monday. "Forty years ago, it would have been unheard of to have a chief judge that was African-American or even a circuit court judge of color."

The advisory board each year presents an award to a black leader that has a lasting impact in Aurora and who has made significant achievements in a profession or community.

Brown said he is excited that his parents, Floyd and Betty, will be in attendance Thursday, and the award also is testament to the progress made in the judicial circuit as a whole.

"Judge Brown does such an admirable job on the judicial bench because he has always remained firmly rooted and active in our community," Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner said. "Judge Brown has always stayed grounded and that makes him both an exceptional judge and an exceptional human being."

Previous winners are: Aurora 7th Ward Alderman Scheketa Hart-Burns, Fred Rodgers, Cynthia Latimer, Donnell Collins, Archie Needham, Lillian Perry and Henry Cowherd.

Tickets for the breakfast are $20 per person with a portion going to the Henry Cowherd Scholarship Fund. They can be purchased by calling Ken Maurice, the city of Aurora's Youth Services Development Coordinator, at (630) 256-3402, or by emailing AAHAB President Toussaint Smith at tou828@gmail.com.

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