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Brooks, 53, is a civil rights attorney and ordained minister from Georgetown, South Carolina, and he is currently president and CEO of the New Jersey Institute for Social Justice. In an interview this morning with The Associated Press, Brooks said he was especially affected by the organization's selecting him on the anniversary of the Brown v. Board decision, which outlawed segregation in public schools.
"As a graduate of both Head Start and Yale Law School, I am a beneficiary, an heir and a grandson, if you will, of Brown versus Board of Education," Brooks told the AP. "My life is the direct product, if you will, of the legacy of the blood, sweat and tears of the NAACP."
Brooks, who replaces interim leader Lorraine Miller, will be formally presented to the NACCP's members at its national convention in July.
"As long as America continues to be a great, but imperfect nation, there will be a need for the NAACP," Brooks said.
While he told The Root that voting rights will be a key focus of his leadership, Brooks also said he plans to address issues including resegregation of schools, activism among young people, and cooperation with the LGBTQ community.