Passings ~ Dorothy Height (1912-2010)
at the March on Washington in 1963 (Photo: AP).
Dorothy Height, a key, if unheralded leader in the American movement for Civil Rights has died. You can find an obituary here in The New York Times.
The key observation from The Times report reads: "If Ms. Height was less well known than her contemporaries in either the civil rights or women’s movement, it was perhaps because she was doubly marginalized, pushed offstage by women’s groups because of her race and by black groups because of her sex. Throughout her career, she responded quietly but firmly, working with a characteristic mix of limitless energy and steely gentility to ally the two movements in the fight for social justice."
Height was hardly the only female civil rights activist to resist this dual exclusion - think of Ella Baker, for instance - and while the movement for civil rights was a crucial one, it is useful to recall its flaws even as we celebrate its accomplishments and keep an eye on its still unattained goals. The same, of course, is true of the women's movement.