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Dorothy Height

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Information about Dorothy Height

Profile image of Dorothy Height

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Nonprofit Chief Executive
Social Activist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Purple
Favorite Food:
Sweet Potatoes
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
African American women are very special women. We seldom do what we want to do, but we always do what we have to do.

Birthplace

Born:
3/24/1912
Birth Location:
Richmond, Virginia

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Nonprofit Chief Executive
Social Activist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Purple
Favorite Food:
Sweet Potatoes
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
African American women are very special women. We seldom do what we want to do, but we always do what we have to do.

Birthplace

Born:
3/24/1912
Birth Location:
Richmond
See how Dorothy Height is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Social activist Dorothy Height was born in Richmond, Virginia, on March 24, 1912. At an early age, she moved with her family to Rankin, Pennsylvania. While in high school, Height was awarded a scholarship to New York University for her oratory skills, where she studied and earned her master's degree.

Height began her career working as a caseworker with the New York City Welfare Department, but at the age of twenty-five, she began her career as a civil rights activist when she joined the National Council of Negro Women. She fought for equal rights for both African Americans and women, and in 1944 she joined the national staff of the YWCA. She remained active with the organization until 1977, and while there she developed leadership training programs and interracial and ecumenical education programs. In 1957, Height was named president of the National Council of Negro Women, a position she held until 1997. During the height of the civil rights movement of the 1960s, Height organized "Wednesdays in Mississippi," which brought together black and white women from the north and South to create a dialogue of understanding. Leaders of the United States regularly took her counsel, including First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, and Height also encouraged President Dwight D. Eisenhower to desegregate schools and President Lyndon B. Johnson to appoint African American women to positions in government.

Height has served on a number of committees, including as a consultant on African affairs to the secretary of state, the President's Committee on the Employment of the Handicapped and the President's Committee on the Status of Women. Her tireless efforts for equal rights have earned her the praise and recognition of numerous organizations, as well. She has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Freedom From Want Award and the NAACP Spingarn Medal. She has also been inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame. Height passed away on April 20, 2010.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Dorothy Height interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Dorothy Height's favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Dorothy Height describes her parents' backgrounds
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Dorothy Height recounts her childhood Rankin, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Dorothy Height describes her childhood personality
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Dorothy Height reviews her childhood activities
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Dorothy Height details her pursuits during her school years
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Dorothy Height describes her parents' affiliations
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Dorothy Height recalls a racial encounter from her youth
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Dorothy Height remembers her mentors
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Dorothy Height recalls an episode from her early oratorical career
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Dorothy Height discusses her college choice
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Dorothy Height details her extra-curricular endeavors in New York
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Dorothy Height describes her affiliations while in Harlem, New York
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Dorothy Height remembers an artist community in 1930s Harlem
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Dorothy Height recalls her social service work as a student
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Dorothy Height discusses her involvement with the National Black United Front
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Dorothy Height describes her involvement in various organizations
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Dorothy Height recalls meeting Mary McLeod Bethune
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Dorothy Height describes her early work with the Harlem YWCA
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Dorothy Height discusses her advocacy efforts during World War II
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Dorothy Height remembers Eleanor Roosevelt
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Dorothy Height recalls a threat from the Ku Klux Klan, part 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Dorothy Height recalls a threat from the Ku Klux Klan, part 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Dorothy Height discusses the aims of the National Council for Negro Women
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Dorothy Height illustrates the employment opportunities for African Americans post-World War II
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Dorothy Height discusses the Mary McLeod Bethune Monument, Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Dorothy Height reflects on the legacy of the Brown v. the Board of Education decision
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Dorothy Height reviews black women's contributions to the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Dorothy Height remembers U.S. presidents
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Dorothy Height remembers the United Civil Rights Leadership
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Dorothy Height recalls law enforcement's abuse of black women during the Civil Rights Movement, part 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Dorothy Height recalls law enforcement's abuse of black women during the Civil Rights Movement, part 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Dorothy Height discusses black women's participation in Civil Rights activities
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Dorothy Height recalls Civil Rights efforts in Mississippi
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Dorothy Height remembers the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Dorothy Height considers the legacy of the National Council for Negro Women
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Dorothy Height reflects on her legacy