top of page

National Photography Day: Hooks Brothers

In July 1951, the #HooksBrothers captured the Woman's Missionary Society's Second Quadrennial Convention at historic Clayborn Temple in Memphis, Tennessee.

Hooks Brothers was a multigenerational African American family photography business that operated from 1906-1979 in Memphis. During the early years, the studio was located on the iconic #BealeStreet.

The building that houses Clayborn Temple was previously occupied by a white congregation. In 1949, the building was sold to an African American congregation, which renamed the building Clayborn Temple, in honor of Bishop John Henry Clayborn.

Bishop Clayborn (1881-1954) was born in Arkadelphia, Arkansas. He earned his Bachelor's degree at #ShorterCollege (#LittleRockArkansas), where he became president in 1940. In 1944, he was elected as an AME Bishop and presided over Tennessee and Kentucky. This button was created in 1922 when Clayborn was running for the position of elected editor of the #SouthernChristianRecorder, the Southern publication of the AME Church, which he won.

Since its beginning, Clayborn Temple has been a hub of civil rights activities. The 1969 #IAmAMan strike began in the pulpit of Clayborn. The strike began when two African American sanitation workers were killed in an accident on a city truck. Afterwards, the sanitation workers would march twice daily from the church to city hall, declaring "I Am A Man". Shortly before his death, #RevDrMartinLutherKingJr arrived in Memphis to help organize a mass protest. In 1979, the building was listed on the #NationalRegisterofHistoricPlaces

For more about Clayborn Temple, visit:

Image colorized by #DeOldify

Courtesy of Nanny Jack & Co Archives

16 views0 comments


bottom of page