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DOROTHY HEIGHT

Happy 106th Birthday Dr. Dorothy Height

Black History: Special Delivery!!

Happy 106th Birthday Dr. Dorothy Height!
Born on March 24, 1912, in Richmond, VA, she spent her life fighting for civil rights and women’s rights. One of Height’s major accomplishments was directing the integration of all of the YWCA’s centers in 1946. In 1957, Height became the president of the National Council of Negro Women. In 1963, Height was one of the organizers of the famed March on Washington. Ironically, she, nor any other women were allowed to speak at the march.

Dorothy Height Drops Wisdom

Black History: Special Delivery!!

“If the time is not ripe, we have to ripen the time.”

-Dorothy Height

This quote powerfully speaks to the life and legacy of Dorothy Height.

Dorothy Height (1921-2010) was a commanding leader of the civil rights movement. She was a strong advocate for women’s right; particularly African American women. She is perhaps best known for her leadership of The National Council of Negro Women. She led this organization for 40 years. Height is also known for her work with “Wednesdays In Mississippi” which created opportunities for black and white women from the north and south to increase dialog and collaboration. Height also was employed by the the YWCA and was instrumental in helping the organization’s integration efforts.

Born in Richmond, VA, Height was raised in Rankin, PA. She received a $1,000 scholarship from The Elks, an African American social and benevolent organization, which helped her pursue a college education in the field of social work. Height was also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, and served as its national president from 1947-1956.

Height never married and had no children. She died at the age of 98.

Sources:

http://www.encyclopedia.com/people/social-sciences-and-law/social-reformers/dorothy-i-height

http://www.blackpast.org/aah/height-dorothy-irene-1912

https://www.google.com/amp/www.latimes.com/local/la-me-dorothy-height-20100420-story,amp.html

4 Phenomenal African American Women

Black History:  Special Delivery!!

betty shabazz dorothy height, shirley chisholm marian anderson
(Left To Right) Betty Shabazz, Dorothy Height, Shirley Chishlom, & Marian Anderson

Earlier today we asked our Black Mail Readers to identify the phenomenal women in this photo.  They are (left to right) Betty Shabazz, Dorothy Height, Shirley Chishlom, & Marian Anderson.

WEDNESDAYS IN MISSISSIPPI: WOMEN MAKING A DIFFERENCE

Black History: Special Delivery!!

WEDNESDAYS 2

Wednesday in Mississippi (WIMS) is  believed to be the only civil rights project run exclusively by a national women’s organization. The concept for WIMS came from Dorothy Height an African American civil rights activist and President of the National Council on Negro Women, and a close friend Polly Cowan, a white Jewish woman who volunteered with NCNW . WIMS brought black and white women from Northern Cities (including Boston, New York and Chicago) to Mississippi in 1964 during Freedom Summer. On a weekly basis interracial and interfaith teams of women from Northern states (Wednesdays Women) came to Mississippi with supplies and support for rural communities. Local black residents as well as civil rights workers faced the threat of daily violence and harassment as they worked to end segregation and discrimination. The “Wednesdays Women” had the opportunity to experience the impact of racism and injustice first hand.

On Thursdays, “Wednesdays Women” secretly met with black and white women in Mississippi. The meetings usually took place in private homes. In these encounters, southern women shared their fears and concerns regarding the civil rights movement. The meetings had to remain secret because at that time “mixing” with outsiders could have very negative consequences. These meetings were a catalyst for change. In 1966, trainings were also added to the weekly visits.  The collaboration resulted in economic, health and educational programs. One such program that is still exists today is the Fannie Lou Hamer Day Care Center.

WEDNESDAYS

WIMS operated on the belief that the northern participants’ gender, age, and class would serve as a point of connection to southerners who had rejected other civil rights activists feeling they were too radical. All of the details of the project were painstakingly planned. This included travel plans, safety precautions, as well as how black and WIMS workers would interact with each other.

Even their dress was meticulously planned out. Many of the WIMS participants had never even traveled to the south before. Black and white WIMS participants could not be seen talking to each other publicly and could not lodge together. So they wouldn’t stand out, they were advised to wear white gloves like most women of the South did at the time.  If local residents asked, the WIMS participants would say that they were in the city developing a southern cookbook.

Dorothy Height and Peggy Cowan have not received enough recognition for their work with Wednesdays In Mississippi. A documentary film is currently in production for Wednesdays In Mississippi.

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