• Recent Comments

    operationblackvote on The Apprentice: in defence of…
    David Stuart on No, not again: Jimmy Mubenga d…
    David Stuart on National Black Police Ass…
    Marvelous on The Apprentice: in defence of…
    Regina Nyametscher on The Apprentice: in defence of…
    Marcus on The Apprentice: in defence of…
    James Odoi on The Apprentice: in defence of…
  • Recent Posts

  • Categories

US Civil Rights Leaders Laid to Rest

Dorothy Height

American civil rights activist Dorothy Height died today after a long illness.

Height, who as longtime president of the National Council of Negro Women was the leading female voice of the 1960s civil rights movement, was 98.

President Barack Obama said that he was ‘deeply saddened’ to learn of her death. Her death comes on the heels of the passing of another civil rights great- Benjamin Hooks.

Obama said in a statement: “Michelle and I were deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Dorothy Height – the godmother of the Civil Rights Movement and a hero to so many Americans. Ever since she was denied entrance to college because the incoming class had already met its quota of two African-American women, Dr. Height devoted her life to those struggling for equality.”

As a teenager, Height marched in New York’s Times Square shouting, “Stop the lynching.” In the 1950s and 1960s, she was the leading woman helping the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and other leading activists orchestrate the civil rights movement.

The late activist C. DeLores Tucker once called Height an icon to all African-American women.

“I call Rosa Parks the mother of the civil rights movement,” Tucker said in 1997. “Dorothy Height is the queen.”

Height was on the platform at the Lincoln Memorial, sitting only a few feet from King when he gave his famous “I have a dream” speech at the March on Washington in 1963.

Height became president of the National Council of Negro Women in 1957 and held the post until 1997, when she was 85. She remained chairman of the group.

“I hope not to work this hard all the rest of my life,” she said at the time. “But whether it is the council, whether it is somewhere else, for the rest of my life, I will be working for equality, for justice, to eliminate racism, to build a better life for our families and our children.”

Height received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1994 from President Bill Clinton.

To celebrate Height’s 90th birthday in March 2002, friends and supporters raised $5 million to enable her organization to pay off the mortgage on its Washington headquarters. The donors included Oprah Winfrey and Don King.

Height passed away the day after another American civil rights leader was buried.

On Monday, mourners paid their respects to longtime NAACP executive director Benjamin L. Hooks.

Hooks was pastor at the Greater New Mount Moriah Baptist Church from 1964 to 1994. He flew to Detroit twice a month to minister there even as he served as a Tennessee judge, Federal Communications commissioner and national civil rights leader.

Advertisements

One Response

  1. Madam Dorothy,

    Rest in peace.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: