Power Play

Mutiny at the N.A.A.C.P.

For three-quarters of a century the N.A.A.C.P., resolutely mainstream in its struggles for racial justice, has been the most important U.S. civil rights organization. Yet the group has been adrift for almost a decade, and its membership has been halved to fewer than 200,000. Now open mutiny seems to have broken out at the top. With a curt letter sent last week, Margaret Bush Wilson, chairman of the N.A.A.C.P. board of directors, summarily suspended Executive Director Benjamin Hooks.

Hooks, a former Federal Communications Commissioner who has battled with Wilson since taking the N.A.A.C.P. job in 1977, stood fast, refusing...

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