Monday, March 24, 2014

Happy Birthday, Dorothy I. Height

"The Black family of the future will foster our liberation, enhance our self-esteem, and shape our ideas and goals." - Dorothy Height

Social activist Dorothy Height was born in Richmond, Virginia, in 1912. After earning a scholarship to New York University, where she earned a M.A., Height went into social work. In 1937, she became active with the National Council of Negro Women. She became president of the organization in 1957, a position she held for more than forty years. During the civil rights movement of the 1960s, Height organized a dialogue between black and white women from the north and South called Wednesdays in Mississippi. Height has fought for equal rights for African Americans and women her whole life, and several U.S. presidents have taken her counsel. She has also published a memoir; Open Wide the Freedom Gates. Her work has earned her numerous honors, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the NAACP Spingarn Award. In 2004, she was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal by President George Bush