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Dorothy Height

Dorothy HeightAKA Dorothy Irene Height

Born: 24-Mar-1912
Birthplace: Richmond, VA
Died: 20-Apr-2010
Location of death: Washington, DC [1]
Cause of death: Natural Causes

Gender: Female
Race or Ethnicity: Black
Occupation: Activist

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: National Council of Negro Women

An exceptional student in high school, Dorothy Height was denied admission to Barnard College for the reason that the school had already met its quota of black students. Undeterred, she enrolled at New York University; upon receipt of her Master's degree, she went to work for the city as a caseworker for two years, then moved on to the YWCA where she administrated social outreach programs in Harlem and later rose to the organization's national staff. She spoke out against lynching in the 1930s and became President of the National Council of Negro Women in 1957, an umbrella group for various community organizations which she would head for the next four decades. A leader of the Civil Rights Movement, she was the lone woman on the stage during Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. Her activism on behalf of African-Americans did not diminish with age; she led the Council's later work against poverty and AIDS, and was a regular participant in the Council's Black Family Reunion Celebration, held annually since 1986 on the National Mall in Washington.


[1] Howard University Hospital.

Father: James Edward Height
Mother: Fannie Borroughs Height
Sister: Anthanette Aldridge

    High School: Rankin High School, Rankin, PA
    University:
BS Education, New York University
    University: MS Educational Psychology, New York University
    University: Columbia University
    University: New York School of Social Work

    National Council of Negro Women President (1957-91)
    Young Women's Christian Association National Staff (1944-77)
    Delta Sigma Theta Sorority National President (1946-57)
    Leadership Conference on Civil Rights
    National Women's Political Caucus 1971
    Phyllis Wheatley Association
    United Christian Youth Movement of North America 1933
    Women's Center for Education and Career Advancement 1970
    Congressional Gold Medal 2004
    Presidential Medal of Freedom 1994
    National Women's Hall of Fame 1993
    Spingarn Medal 1993

Author of books:
Open Wide the Freedom Gates (2003, memoir)


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