Frances Dancy Hooks

The Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change at the University of Memphis was saddened to learn 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.

In 1996, University of Memphis officials received approval from the Tennessee Board of Regents to create the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change in the College of Arts & Sciences. The mission of the Institute is teaching, studying and promoting civil rights and social change. The Hooks Institute archives include Hooks' personal papers, which are housed in the Mississippi Valley Collection in the University's McWherter Library. To learn more about the Hooks Institute, visit memphis.edu/benhooks.