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Hooks Gala Will Celebrate Civil Rights Movement’s Influence on Music, Fashion, Culture

Contact: Daphene R. McFerren

Hooks FashionMarch 11, 2014 - The Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change at the University of Memphis will hold the "Join Hands for Change Gala: The Civil Rights Movement's Influence on Music, Fashion, and Culture" on April 26 from 7 to 11 p.m. at The Hotel Memphis, 2625 Thousand Oaks Blvd.

The Hooks Institute's honoree for the evening will be Beverly Robertson, president of the National Civil Rights Museum. The gala will also celebrate Robertson's dynamic leadership and vision as she ends her tenure as president of the National Civil Rights Museum.
The American Civil Rights Movement successfully challenged formal legal segregation. It also created a cultural shift transforming American music, fashion and culture. Folk, blues and gospel singers created harmonies and beats to drum forward the march for racial equality. Born out of the African-American Church, activists of the 1950s and 1960s – dressed in formal church attire – boycotted the buses, sat in at segregated lunch counters, and marched in the streets to demand racial equality.

As the movement for racial equality gained momentum in the mid-1960s, the dress of white and black activists transformed to reflect the political and social tide for change. Dashikis, Afros, black leather jackets, berets, blue jeans, loose, flowing shirts, long hair and flowers all came to symbolize the 1960s, one of the most transformative periods for human and racial equality in American and world history.

The Join Hands for Change Gala is an edutainment event. Multi-media presentations will walk guests through the 1960s. Program participants will include Mayors A C Wharton and Mark Luttrell. Gala attendees are strongly encouraged to join the evening activities by stylin' their best 1960s look. Eating, dancing and reflections will fill the evening.

This is a ticketed event. For sponsorship or ticket information, contact the Hooks Institute at 901-678-3974 or Individual tickets are $100 and may also be purchased at

Organized in 1996, the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change is an interdisciplinary center at the University of Memphis. It was founded by the late Dr. Benjamin L. Hooks and officials at the University. The Hooks Institute archives include Hooks' personal papers, which are housed in Special Collections.


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