Apr 23, 2010

The National Congress of  Black Women Thursday called for a public viewing of the late Dorothy I. Height at the U.S. Capitol, "In light of the unparalleled standing of Dr. Dorothy Irene Height as the sole woman within the highest ranks of leadership of the civil rights movement of the United States of America, and in light of her global impact in fostering the ideals of human rights, equality, and social justice," the organization said in a statement.

The honor would make Height, who died Tuesday at the age of 98, the second woman to lie in state in the Capitol rotunda. The first was Rosa Parks, who died in October 2005 at the age of 92.

Height paid tribute to Parks – often called the "mother of the civil rights movement" – at her funeral, describing what Parks said was going through her head the day she was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white man:

"And she said it suddenly seemed to her that she could hear a small voice saying, 'Rosa Parks, you're a child of God. You can make a difference.' And so she remained in her seat. And what a difference she made. What a difference she made for the United States of America, not just for herself."

Height, the chair and president emerita of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) and chairperson of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, was herself called the "godmother of the civil rights movement." She received nearly every significant national honor, including the NAACP Spingarn Medal, the Presidential Medal of Freedom award, the Congressional Gold Medal and the Ronald Reagan Citizens Medal.

During the civil rights movement, she was the only female frequently identified as an equal among the "Big Six" in the United Civil Rights Leadership with Martin Luther King, Jr., Whitney H. Young, A. Philip Randolph, Roy Wilkins and Floyd McKissick.

Services for Height, will take place in Washington, D.C. beginning Tuesday, April 28, with a wake from 6-10 p.m. at the National Council of Negro Women's headquarters, and end with funeral services at 10 a.m. Thursday at Washington National Cathedral.

At 2 p.m. Wednesday, the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority will conduct a public Omega Omega Service at Howard University. Dr. Height served as national president of the sorority in 1947. At 7 p.m., a "Community Celebration of Life" memorial service will be held at Shiloh Baptist Church in Washington, D.C.

This would be an honor well deserved!!!


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