001: The Angel of Beale Street: A Biography of Julia Ann Hooks

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9780918518392: 001: The Angel of Beale Street: A Biography of Julia Ann Hooks

Book by Lewis, Selma S.

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From Publishers Weekly:

Julia Ann Hooks, who died in 1942, was the great-niece of John Marshall, the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and the grandmother of Benjamin Hooks, executive director of the NAACP. Reared by her white grandfather in Kentucky's preCivil War ambiance, she trained to be a concert pianist. Before she was to become the first black faculty member of Kentucky's Berea College, Julia experienced the difficulties of traveling with her white family members, which she compared with her later, even more painful, experience of Jim Crow after the Civil War. Moving to Memphis's famed Beale Street, she was a colleague of Ida Wells in campaigns for racial equality and became a popular music teacher. The first 40 years of Hooks's vastly interesting life are covered in this biography in a generallyfictionalized rendering, a method citedby the authors as appropriate for an undocumented life. However, the invented dialogue is often tedious. The authors previously collaborated on Historic Black Memphians.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal:

This is the first volume of a fictionalized biography of a black woman educator, the grandmother of NAACP head Benjamin Hooks. Struggling with a paucity of source materiala common problem in historical research on blacks and womenthe authors decided to do what Alex Haley had done in Roots. Solid evidence is replaced by inference and imagination. Sustaining a narrative (which here covers about half of Hooks's life) requires substantial expansion on rather slim material, e.g., regarding her relationship with Mississippi's black U.S. Senator Blanche K. Bruce. Hooks is portrayed as an independent woman who nonetheless lived within many of the constraints placed on her race and sex. Although the book falls short of being good biography, it makes interesting if not compelling reading. Charles K. Piehl, Director of Grants Management, Mankato State Univ., Minn.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Lewis, Selma S.
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