Master Minds Who Think and Grow Rich.
Civil Rights and Women’s Rights Activist, Educator, Icon, and Legend; Dorothy Irene Height was born on this day, March 24 in 1912!
A career spanning nearly 80 years, 40 years serving as president of the National Council of Negro Women, Dr. Height has been a part of many of the nation’s historic civil rights events cultivating the seeds of a movement that changed the world. A leading figure of the civil rights movement, and the only female member among the major leaders of the civil rights movement, Dr. Height worked alongside master-minds Martin Luther King Jr., A. Philip Randolph, Roy Wilkins, Whitney Young, John Lewis and James Farmer—sometimes called the “Big Six” of the civil rights movement—on different campaigns and initiatives.
This “god mother of the civil rights movement” stood beside the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. at the Lincoln Memorial as he gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Dr. Height, a vocal champion and leader, is said to have directly known every American president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Seated on stage as an honored guest for President Barack Obama’s inauguration on January 20, 2009, Dr. Height’s lifetime of achievements is a model of integrity for all. “I never thought I would live to see this,” Dr. Height told the New York Times in regards to the inauguration of a black president. “This is real recognition that civil rights was not just what Dr. King dreamed. But it took a lot of people a lot of work to make this happen, and they feel part of it.” Dr. Height’s words echo the spirit and embodiment of what a mastermind alliance can achieve.
Appointed leader of the United Christian Youth Movement of North America in the New Deal era (1933); staff of the National Board of the YWCA of the USA directing the integration of all its centers (1944 – 1977); elected president of the National Council of Negro Women (1957-1998); helped found the National Women’s Political Caucus (1971); recipient of the NAACP Spingarn Medal. Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1994 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 2004, Dr. Height fought for equality and human rights for all people. She is one of a select few Americans to win both the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal — the highest civilian and most distinguished award presented by the U.S. Congress. This visionary master-mind also received 36 honorary doctorate degrees from some of the country’s most outstanding colleges and universities.
Dr. Height was the chairperson of the Executive Committee of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, the largest civil rights organization in the USA. As a Civil Rights and Women’s Rights activist, she focused on the issues impacting both African Americans and women from unemployment to illiteracy to voter awareness. Dr. Height also served as National President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority from 1946 to 1957, remained active with the Sorority throughout her life, and developed leadership training and education programs there. Leaving a rich legacy and universal imprint, Dr. Height established the Black Family Reunion Celebration in 1986 to reinforce the historic strengths and traditional values of the Black family. Dr. Height passed away on April 20, 2010, at the age of 98.
The Black Mastermind Group Salutes Dorothy I. Height, a symbol of the civil rights movement and a crusader for justice for Black women and strengthening the Black family! The Dream Lives On With Purpose.
Black Enterprise (2010, April 20). Dorothy I. Height: Her Life in Pictures. http://www.blackenterprise.com/news/dorothy-i-height-her-life-in-pictures
Britt Middleton (2012, March 24). This Day in Black History: March 24, 1912, BET.
Jim Iovino (April 21, 2010). Civil Rights Icon Dorothy Height Dies at 98. NBC Washington. http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Civil-Rights-Icon-Dorothy-Height-Dies-at-98-91581204.html
NationalCouncil of Negro Women. Dr. Dorothy I. Height, Chair and President Emerita National Council of Negro Women. http://www.ncnw.org/about/height.htm