Today’s Google Doodle is in celebration of Dorothy Height’s birthday. Height, who is often referred to as the “godmother of the civil rights movement” by President Obama, was pivotal in bridging the gap between feminism and civil rights. Height helped organize Dr. King’s March on Washington, but wasn’t allowed to speak along with the men during the march.
Height co-founded the National Women’s Political Caucus with Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan. She has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal, the two highest honors awarded to an American civilian.
After graduating from NYU with both a bachelor’s in education and a master’s in psychology, Height went on to fight against the exploitation of black women in what was referred to as the “slave markets”. Height also oversaw the desegregation of the YWCA, and founded the Y’s center for Racial Justice.
She organized many programs to strengthen racial ties, including “Wednesdays in Mississippi,” a program that flew interracial groups of Northern women to meet with black and white women in Mississippi, and “Black Family Reunions,” which were large, celebratory gatherings dedicated to celebrating the culture and traditions of the black community. Height also served as the National President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority from 1946 to 1957 and for 40 years, Dorothy Height was the president of the National Council of Negro Women.
Height died at the age of 98 in 2010, but even up until her death, she was still active politically and in the community.