These people are "my heroes". Whoever stands up for justice, peace and the better welfare of others, are my bread and butter. Although I never met a Civil Rights leader in person, my heart always is saddened by the news when one passes on from this world.
It is reported by the New York Times today, that Benjamin Hooks, 85, died in his Tennessee home, after a long illness.
Benjamin Hooks was a positive influence for many people of all races. He led the NAACP from 1977 to 1982. Hooks was an active voice for equality, alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks.and Senator Ted Kennedy. Hooks was a 2007 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor a civilian can be awarded in the United States.
" As a civil rights activist, public servant and minister of the gospel, Dr. Hooks has extended the hand of fellowship throughout his years," President Bush said. " It was not always an easy thing to do, but it was always the right thing to do."
Born in Memphis, Hooks grew up in the segragated South.
He served in the United States Army during World War II, where he "found himself inthe humiliating position of guarding Italian prisoners of war who were allowed to eat in resturants that were off limits to him. The experience helped deepen his resolve to do something about bigotry in the South," according to a biograpghy published by the University of Memphis, where he was a professor in the political science department.
Hooks was also a lawyer and Baptist minister who joined the Southern Christian Leadership Coference and led the NAACP for 15 years.
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