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

Selma S. Lewis, Author St. Luke's Press $21.95 (1p) ISBN 978-0-918518-39-2
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. (June)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
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