Julia Britton Hooks
Julia Britton Hooks lived a life dedicated to helping others. Born in Frankfort, Kentucky, she went on to attend Berea College and was only the second African American woman to graduate from college. Afterwards she went on to teach at Berea College and was the first African American employee of the school teaching music for two years. She was honored with the John G. Fee award from Berea College which honors alumni who gave distinguished service to the community. Hooks eventually moved to Memphis where she founded the Hooks School of Music.
Known as “The Angel of Beale Street” in Memphis Julie and her husband, Charles F. Hooks, took charge of a detention home for juvenile African American offenders in 1902. Like I said, Julia was dedicated to helping others throughout her life and she continued to work for the institution even after her husband was murdered by one of the juveniles.
Hooks was also a member of the Memphis branch of the NAACP. Julia’s impact must have ran through her family, because her grandson Benjamin Hooks became executive director of the NAACP in 1977 and served for fifteen years. Julia lived a life of servitude and should be recognized for all of her accomplishments and what she brought to the people around her. As her grandson put it “what trials, what travails, what tribulations we have seen, yet my grandmother had this great sense of duty, and of education.