Frances Dancy Hooks, the civil rights activist and widow of Dr. Benjamin Hooks, died Thursday, reports WREG TV. The prominent educator and philanthropist was 88.
As co-founder of the Memphis Volunteer Placement Program, she helped draw Black students to some of the nation’s best private boarding schools, notes the report.
Dr. Hooks died in 2010. He was the first African-American commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission, and served as executive director of the NAACP from 1977-1992.
From The Commercial Appeal:
Mrs. Hooks, 88, leaves behind a legacy of activism devoted to improving education, race relations and women’s rights in Memphis and across the nation.
A graduate of Booker T. Washington High School, Mrs. Hooks earned a bachelor’s degree from Fisk University in Nashville and a master’s degree from Tennessee State University. Mrs. Hooks began her 24-year career as an educator in Memphis but later served as secretary and adviser to her husband Ben, whom she called “the Catch of Memphis.”
“So many people think of her husband, Dr. Ben Hooks, but she was such a person of incredible competence in her own right,” said Jean Varnell, a friend of nearly 50 years. “They were such a team together.”