Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Soaring to New Heights...

“Greatness is not measured by what a man or woman accomplishes, but by the opposition he or she has overcome to reach his goals.” - Dr. Dorothy Height

On April 20, 2010, the world lost an AMAZING woman. Dr. Dorothy Height, a civil rights activist for more than 70 years, who was heavily influential in the fight for African American women and African Americans in general died after being hospitalized less than a month ago. She was an instrumental part of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), where she served as president for 40 years. The NCNW was crucial in arguing for the inclusion of black women into the professional working sphere. Under the leadership of Dr. Height, the NCWN showed the ways in which black women played a quintessential role in leading black radical organizations. She was also involved in the YWCA and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.

It wasn't until my junior year of college when I heard about Dr. Dorothy Height. In fulfilling a prerequisite for my African American Studies minor I took a Black Gender Women studies class. I remember being in class and watching my teacher jump around the classroom with enthusiasm as he spoke about pioneering leaders such as Dr. Height. In another class, I would be asked to research several leaders, Dorothy Height included, using History Makers. Along with leaders such as Ida B. Wells, Mary Church Terrell, Fannie Lou Hamer, and Mary McLeod Bethune, Dr. Height was my inspiration to pursue a concentration in my minor for Black Gendered Women's Studies.

Dorothy Height, was not great because of her accomplishments, but because of all that she overcame. May she soar to new heights and land amongst the angels. She will be truly missed.

Dr. Dorothy Irene Height, March 24, 1912 - April 20, 2010
"The Godmother of the Civil Rights Movement" -
President Barack Obama

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