Five months (Part I)

Tuesday – 07 February 2012
Today, Diana turned 5-months-old:

Today also finds me in the south 40. So far, it hasn’t been too painful an experience. And, it’s even been somewhat productive. I consider that combination a good thing. (The doughnuts and the frozen mocha didn’t hurt things, either…)

Last night, and Mr. and Mrs. came over for a visit. As it was the first time any of them had met the girls, there was a bit of surprise of just how big they are — granted, it is kind of hard to tell from just pictures. There were also a few questions about parenthood and life changes, too.  I must admit that I was a little surprised – pleasantly so – at how well the girls took to hanging out with and at how comfortable he seemed with them.  (MENTAL NOTE: Keep this in mind for future babysitting needs!)

Chew on This: Food for Thought – Black History Month
Today’s person of note is Benjamin Hooks, an American civil rights leader, who also served as executive director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) from 1977 to 1992.

Benjamin Lawson Hooks (January 31, 1925 – April 15, 2010) was born in Memphis, Tennessee. He was the fifth of seven children of Robert B. Hooks and Bessie White Hooks. Young Benjamin’s paternal grandmother, Julia Britton Hooks (1852–1942), graduated from Berea College in Kentucky in 1874 and was only the second American black woman to graduate from college.

In his youth, he had felt called to the Christian ministry. His father, however, did not approve and discouraged Benjamin from such a calling. Hooks enrolled in LeMoyne-Owen College, in Memphis, Tennessee. There he undertook a pre-law course of study 1941–43. In his college years he became more acutely aware that he was one of a large number of Americans who were required to use segregated lunch counters, water fountains, and restrooms. After graduating in 1944 from Howard University, he joined the Army and had the job of guarding Italian prisoners of war. He found it humiliating that the prisoners were allowed to eat in restaurants from which he was barred. He was discharged from the Army after the end of the war with the rank of staff sergeant. After the war he enrolled at the DePaul University College of Law in Chicago to study law. No law school in his native Tennessee would admit him. He graduated from DePaul in 1948 with his Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree.

From 1949 until 1965 he practiced law in Memphis. He participated in restaurant sit-ins of the late 1950s and early ’60s and joined the Board of Directors of Martin Luther King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference, among many other civil-rights and public-service organizations. He was ordained as a Baptist minister in 1956 and began to preach regularly at the Greater Middle Baptist Church in Memphis, while continuing his busy law practice. He joined the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (then known as Southern Negro Leaders Conference on Transportation and Nonviolent Integration) along with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

In July 1972 Hooks was appointed to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission and became the first black FCC commissioner. As a member of the FCC, Hooks addressed the lack of minority ownership of television and radio stations, the minority employment statistics for the broadcasting industry, and the image of blacks in the mass media. Hooks completed his five-year term on the board of commissioners in 1978, but he continued to work for black involvement in the entertainment industry.

He resigned to become executive director of the NAACP on Aug. 1, 1977, succeeding Roy Wilkins. Hooks also served as the chairman of the board of directors of the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis and helped to found the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change at the University of Memphis in 1996. Hooks stressed the need for affirmative action and pressed for increased minority voter registration.

Hooks received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush in November 2007.

Information courtesy of, and Wikipedia.

Stray Toasters

Wow… just ran into a wee bit of monkeydom. It’s lovely when the answers you get don’t quite fulfill the questions you ask.