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About the Author

Bettye J. Wiley Hooks was born on her family farm in Early County, Blakely, Georgia. She was delivered by her grandmother, Viola Hutchins Wiley, the local midwife. Bettye’s mother, Alberta, passed away when Bettye was 2 1/2 years old, she was the youngest of 7 girls and two older Brothers Morris Wiley and Freddie Wiley. Her older sisters were Louise, Catherine, Leila, Marian, Evelyn and Jean. Bettye was raised by her grandparents William and Viola Wiley. Bettye’s father remarried from this union; Bettye gained to brother the late Kincy, Jr. and Benjamin. Upon completing High School, Bettye worked at the High as an teachers’ Aide for one year.

In June, 1967 Bettye relocated to Orange, N.J., to be near her older sisters and to complete her goal of graduating from college. She worked several more years New Jersey and Prudential Insurance Company before enrolling in college. Bettye attended and graduated from Essex County College. After receiving her degree from Essex County, she enrolled in Fairleigh Dickinson University, Teaneck, N.J. She graduated with her degree and teacher’s Certification. Bettye received her Masters’ degree from Marygrove College, Detroit, MI.

Bettye worked over 34 in the Education Field before retiring in October, 2011. Bettye is the co-founder of the Hillside Victory Community Garden, teaching children and the youth how to grow organic produce. The produce is donated to the Hillside FoodBank. I am very active in my community and church, Union Chapel AME, Newark, N.J., which I have been a member for 49 years. Bettye is a member of Central Jersey Alumnae Chapter Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and New Jersey Retirees Education Association.

Bettye was married to the late Joseph J. Hooks, to this union two children were adopted, Ilasha Hooks Ames and Jayson. She has one son-in-law, Tyemba Ames, and 4 grand children Ilasha Joyce Middleton, Jeremiah J. Middleton, Trinity Marie Ames and Amira Hooks.