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Dr. Olivia J. Hooker

Born on 2-12-1915. She was born in Muskogee, OK. She was accomplished in the area of Education. She later died on 11-21-2018.
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Olivia Hooker was born in Muskogee, Oklahoma in 1915. She moved with her family to Tulsa, Oklahoma a few years later. Her parents had moved to Oklahoma from Holmes County, Mississippi. Her father, Samuel D. was a businessman, who operated a clothing store in the Greenwood District and her mother, Anita J. Stigger Hooker, was a former teacher. Dr. Hooker was a child of six when the Tulsa Race Riot occurred. She recalls being awakened by the sounds of thudding noises outside her house on the morning of June 1st. one of her most poignant memories is of her mother carefully leading her to the window and pointing to the hill, where a machine gunner was stationed. Her mother then said, "That is a machine gun on that hill, and there's an American flag on it. That means that your country is shooting at you."

Dr. Hooker, as well as her sisters Naomi and Irene, is a graduate of Ohio State University. She taught third grade for seven years, before enlisting in the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II. She was the first African American woman to serve on active duty in the Guard. She earned a Master's degree in Psychological Services from Colombia University's Teachers College. Dr. Hooker earned her doctorate from the University of Rochester. She served as Director of Psychology and Association Administrator for 22 years at New York's Kennedy Child Study Center. She also taught in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at Fordham University during this same period. She retired from Fordham in 1985 as an Associate Professor.

Dr. Hooker also served the Fred S. Keller School for Behavior Analyses, evaluating candidates for special schools and supervising school psychology interns. She retired a second time in 2002. Dr. Hooker is widely respected in her field. She has delivered papers on child assessment at conferences in Rome, Bologna, Egypt and in many U.S. cities.

Dr. Hooker has vivid memories of the morning that her family was forced to leave their home, under gun fire. At age 92, she is still recalling that horrific experience and is among a few hundred remaining survivors, who are trying to get reparations for the losses they and their families suffered as a result of the riot.

She recounted those recollections in an interview she had with Dr. Barbara Nevergold.
This interview was held in October 2007 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Dr. Hooker died on November 21, 2018 at the age of 103. At the time of her death, Dr. Hooker lived in White Plains, New York with her goddaughter, Janis Porter. She had no surviving relatives. Dr. Hooker was a member of the Tulsa Race Riot Commission, a group appointed by the State of Oklahoma that researched the history of the riot and recommended reparations for victims and their descendants.