Though I was never blessed to meet Soror Dorothy I. Height, I feel a bond with her as she was a member of my beloved sorority, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated. As a result, I must pay homage to my soror on my humble blog. For those who are interested, Soror Height will be funeralized tomorrow at 10 a.m. at the Washington National Cathedral. President Obama will deliver the eulogy. You can see the funeral at the Cathedral’s home page as the service will be streamed live. For more information, go here.
Since much has been written about Soror Height, I will not duplicate those efforts but I do want to highlight some of her illustrious achievements and inspirational beliefs.
- According to the book, “How Strong Women Pray” by Bonnie St. John, Soror Height’s favorite Bible verse was Micah 6:8. “And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” One of her favorite prayers was the Peace Prayer of St. Francis.
- Soror Height served as the 10th National President of Delta Sigma Theta Inc. from 1947-1956. As president, she oversaw the purchase of sorority’s first national headquarters building. Soror Height was initiated into the sorority in 1939 through the Rho Chapter at Columbia University.
- She was president of the National Council of Negro Women from 1957 -1997 and was president emerita of the council at the time of her death. Under Height’s leadership, the council initiated the Black Family Reunion events to respond to negative publicity about the decline of the black family. Incidentally, the council also under the leadership of Height, published The Black Family Dinner Quilt Cookbook. (This is one of my favorite cookbooks as the recipes in the book are delicious and the inspirational stories about Soror Height accompanying them are a historical treasure. )
- According to the book, “I Dream a World,” by Brian Lanker, Soror Height was the organizational force behind getting a statue of Mary McLeod Bethune, a soror who founded the National Council of Negro Women, erected in a public park in Washington, D.C. It was the first monument to a black American in a public park in our nation’s capital.
- Notable quote – “Black women are the backbone of every institution, but sometimes they are not recognized as even being there, even in the civil rights movement.” This quote is from the book, “I Dream a World.”
- Notable quote – “There was a myth across the South that the only two free people were the white male and the black woman, and that the black woman had better chances at jobs. Well, that was because they scrubbed floors.” This quote is from the book, “I Dream a World.”
- Soror Height along with Gloria Steinem, Soror Shirley Chisholm and Betty Friedan founded the National Women’s Political Caucus in 1971 and helped to advise several presidents on civil rights.