New York — Benjamin L. Hooks, fiery preacher and lawyer, was suspended indefinitely from his post as executive director of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
That action was taken last week by the NAACP board chairwoman Margaret Bush Wilson, writes Monitor correspondent Luix Overbea. Mrs. Wilson, who has feuded with Mr. Hooks and his predecessor, Roy Wilkins, since 1975, has questioned the authority traditionally given to the association's executive directors. She advocates having the 63-member board of directors control the NAACP - the nation's largest and oldest civil rights organization.
Final determination of Hooks's status will depend on action by the full board. According to the Rev. Edward Hailes, president of the District of Columbia NAACP and one of six national vice-presidents, the board would consider his suspension at a meeting tentatively set for May 28, probably in New York.
The acting executive director during Hooks's suspension is Thomas I. Atkins, general counsel of the NAACP, who still holds legal residence with his family in Roxbury, the black community of Boston. The Rev. Mr. Hailes said he thought the move came at a bad time. The NAACP national convention is scheduled for July 10- 15 in New Orleans.