Dr. Dorothy Height pioneer for women’s rights and civil rights died at the age of 98. Melissa Harris-Lacewell remembers Height at The Nation
For decades, Height led the National Council of Negro Women. She used her voice to advocate for African American women’s inclusion in higher education, corporate America, world politics and community leadership. She had the ear of American presidents and she used her role to speak for those whose voices and interests mostly went unheard. As president of Delta Sigma Theta, a national, historic, women’s service organization Height encouraged young women to follow her lead as organizers and servants of their communities.
Dorothy Height’s legacy was visible on the night Barack Obama was elected to the United States presidency. On that night he concluded his speech by discussing Ann Cooper, a 106-year old black woman whose life bore witness to the exceptional changes wrought in our country during the last century. Though her story, President Obama asked us to reconsider the American story through the eyes of black women and thereby challenged us to find a new American narrative that might emerge if we tell the story on their terms.
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