Dorothy Height, a pioneering voice that helped to revolutionize the civil rights movement over an expanded period of time, died Tuesday. She was 98 years old.
Height, who marched alongside Martin Luther King, Jr. and served as the leader of the National Council of Negro Women, was known for being outspoken and most notably for her colorful hats.
According to the NCNW Web site, she has given leadership to the struggle for equality and human rights for all people. Her life exemplified her passionate commitment for a just society and a better world.
President Barack Obama referred to her as “the godmother of the civil rights movement” and a hero to all Americans.
“Dr. Height devoted her life to those struggling for equality and served as the only woman at the highest level of the civil rights movement- witnessing every march and milestone along the way,” Obama said.
Height died at Howard University Hospital where she had been in serious condition.
Florida A&M recently dedicated a week of empowering forums focused towards women to Height, who served as President Emerita of the National Council of Negro Women.
Caprice Jones, 21, a business administration student and president of the FAMU chapter of NCNW said, “I’m saddend by her loss because she was a great activist and role model.
She lived 98 years and was an absolute amazing person.”
Jones said that one of Height’s main goals was to be a mentor to the “little girls.”
“She wanted us to continue to work and go to different centers to teach young girls to live the right lifestyle,” she said.
Jones attended the NCNW national convention where she was able to meet Height and have her share insight.
Height led a life dedicated to service, where she worked under her mentor Mary McLeod Bethune. She developed programs such as “pig banks” to help poor rural families raise their own livestock.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and former President Bill Clinton, in a joint statement, said, “our nation is poorer for her loss but infinitely richer for the life she led, the progress she achieved and the people she touched.”