Hooks, Benjamin Lawson

Hooks, Benjamin Lawson, 1925–2010, African-American civil-rights leader, b. Memphis, Tenn. In 1972 President Nixon named Hooks, a lawyer, Baptist minister, and former Tennessee county criminal court judge (1965–68), to the Federal Communications Commission , making him its first black member. From 1977 to 1993 he was the executive director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People . During his tenure, the NAACP focused largely on trying to preserve what had been gained in the face of a growing conservative reaction to the civil-rights reforms of the 1960 and 70s it also suffered a membership decline. After his retirement he taught at Fisk Univ. and the Univ. of Memphis.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.