The Nation: N.A.A.C.P.'s Country Preacher

"I'm just a poor little ol' country preacher," Benjamin Hooks likes to say, and there are a few unwary souls around who may believe him. Those who have had dealings with him in his native Memphis or in Washington, where he is the first and only black member of the Federal Communications Commission, know better. Hooks, 51, is a shrewd, articulate spokesman for his race. His country cover was probably blown for good when he was named this month to succeed Roy Wilkins as executive director of the N.A.A.C.P., the country's oldest civil rights organization.

Actually Hooks, who is in fact an...

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