Thursday, April 15, 2010

NBCSL Mourns the Passing of Civil Rights Pioneer, Dr. Benjamin Hooks

(Washington, DC) Representative Calvin Smyre (GA), President of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL), issues the following statement regarding the death of Dr. Benjamin Hooks.

“Late yesterday evening, we lost one of the most powerful luminaries of the civil rights movement. Dr. Hooks led a long and highly accomplished life throughout which he remained true to advocating for greater inclusion in American society. A renaissance man, Dr. Hooks excelled in his many endeavors as an attorney, jurist, minister, businessman, academic and civil rights leader.”

“Dr. Hooks served as Executive Director of the NAACP from 1977 to 1992, during which he revamped the organization by increasing its membership, greatly improving its financial management, and forging greater cooperation between the NAACP and other entities in furtherance of civil rights.”

“Adding to his list of historic accomplishments, Dr. Hooks was a pioneer/trailblazer as the first African American criminal court judge in Tennessee and the first African American commissioner of the FCC, where he worked tirelessly to advocate for increased minority ownership of television and radio stations.”

“Throughout his storied career, he had a great talent for transforming adversities into opportunities. His courage, modesty, and enduring commitment to helping the disenfranchised will serve as a continuing example to us all.”

The National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) is a membership association representing more than 600 African American state legislators hailing from 42 states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands. NBCSL members represent more than 50 million Americans of various racial backgrounds. NBCSL monitors federal and state activity and provides this information to its members through policy symposiums and conferences. Each year, NBCSL members pass policy resolutions that directly impact federal and state policy. The organization focuses on issues that directly impact US domestic policy and is committed to policies that positively affect all Americans.

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