Civil rights activist Frances Dancy Hooks passed away on Thursday. Hooks was the widow of Benjamin Hooks and a champion for social change.
Hooks fought for women's rights, civil rights, and sought to improve the quality of education. The former Memphis teacher taught second grade at Rosenwald School and later went on to work as in an advisory role to Ben, the director of the NAACP from 1977 to 1992. Frances founded Women in the NAACP, a women's rights group within the civil rights organization. WIN raised money for emergency relief for women through fashion shows and social events.
The Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change at the University of Memphis released the following statement on Frances' death:
"The Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change at the University of Memphis was saddened to learn today of the death of Frances Dancy Hooks. Born on Feb. 23, 1927, Mrs. Hooks was a devoted wife to Dr. Benjamin L. Hooks for more than 50 years, serving as his confidante, traveling companion, appointment secretary, and biggest supporter. Yet she was also an accomplished educator and civil rights activist in her own right. During Dr. Hooks’ tenure as executive director of the NAACP, Mrs. Hooks worked with local chapters throughout the country in her role as national coordinator of women to address vital educational, social and health care issues. She was a strong supporter of the Hooks Institute’s mission to continue her husband’s legacy to advocate for the civil and human rights of all people. She leaves behind family and friends that deeply loved her and will miss her strong, guiding presence."