Duty of the Hour (2013) is the first documentary to explore the life of Civil Rights leader Benjamin
Hooks and his dramatic intersection with many defining historical moments in the American
Civil Rights Movement. The film explores his journey from the segregated backstreets
of south Memphis during the Great Depression, the Memphis “reign of terror” on the
black community, WWII, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, to the accession
of Hooks to the grand stage of American public life. The documentary consists of interviews
with Dr. Hooks as well as a host of individuals who worked with him through the civil
rights era and those who can bear witness to a life lived in pursuit of social justice.
Duty of the Hour will be released for distribution in 2013. It received the Director's Citation at
the 32nd Annual Black Maria Film + Video Festival (Jersey City, New Jersey).
Daphene R. McFerren, director of the Hooks Institute was the executive producer of
the film. Reece L. Auguiste, a former visiting professor in the U of M’s Department
of Communication and now a faculty member at the University of Colorado, was the co-producer,
director, and writer of Duty of the Hour. Tony Dancy, a Nashville filmmaker, was co-producer, director, and editor of Duty of the Hour. Julian Bond, noted civil rights activist and also the narrator for the award winning
documentary Eyes on the Prize, was the film’s narrator.
The Hooks Institute is grateful to the following sponsors of Duty of the Hour: DuPont (Wilmington, DE); Fed Ex (Memphis, TN); Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (Bentonville,
AR); Verizon (Basking Ridge, NJ); Hyde Family Foundations (Memphis, TN); Allstate
(Northbrook, IL); Cigna (Bloomfield, IL); International Paper (Memphis,TN); and Temple
Israel of Memphis – Rabbi James A Wax Fund (Memphis, TN).
FOX13 covers Duty of the Hour & interviews Daphene McFerren
The story of Benjamin Hooks is an exploration of this nation's long, complex and difficult
history of race in America. It is also the story of how this nation was and can be
transformed by committed visionaries, like Hooks, if they are determined to make every
second of their lives count to fulfill their duty of the hour.