Saturday, April 17, 2010

Peace Activist of the Week- Benjamin Hooks

I was planning on featuring another Catholic this week, but Benjamin Hooks died on Thursday so I decided to feature him.

Benjamin Hooks (1925-2010) was a civil right's movement activist. Hooks became a Tennessee lawyer at a time when there were very few black lawyers. He often said that he was called "boy" by judges rather than his own name. Later this man became a Baptist minister and joined the movement along with Dr. Martin King Luther Jr to boycott and hold sit ins. He also worked with the NAACP and later became a member of the board. He also was appointed under the Nixon administration as on of the commissioners of the FCC.

Quotes for Hooks:
On why the NAACP is non-violent "There are a lot of ways an oppressed people can rise. One way to rise is to study, to be smarter than your oppressor. The concept of rising against oppression through physical contact is stupid and self-defeating. It exalts brawn over brain. And the most enduring contributions made to civilization have not been made by brawn, they have been made by brain."

"It’s time today... to bring it out of the closet: No longer can we proffer polite, explicable, reasons why Black America cannot do more for itself. I’m calling for a moratorium on excuses. I challenge black America today—all of us—to set aside our alibis.”

“A young black man can’t understand what it means to have something he’s never been denied. I can’t make them understand the mental relief I feel at the rights we have. It almost infuriates me that people don’t understand what integration has done for this country.”

For Benjamin Hooks continuous non-violent struggle personally and professionally for the rights of blacks and people of color, I honor him as the Peace Activist of the Week. Special condolences to his family and may he rest in the peaceful arms of Christ.

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