Good Night Dr. Height, We’ll See You In The Morning
Dr. Dorothy Height, Grand Dame of the Civil Rights Movement, departed this life early on April 20, 2010, at the age of 98. I was honored to serve as National Coordinator for her homegoing services.
There were five public and three private events over three days.
A time of Public Visitation at the headquarters of the National Council of Negro Women, as Dr. Height lay in repose. Midway between the Capitol and the White House, it is the only building on Pennsylvania Avenue owned by an African American organization.
A rousing and inspiring Celebration of Life at DC’s Shiloh Baptist Church. It was the retelling of Dr. Height’s life and legacy through music, pictures, and video. Among the highlights were remarks by former President Bill Clinton, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Reverend Jesse Jackson, Reverend Al Sharpton, Elder Bernice King, and Congressman John Lewis, to name just a few. And Stevie Wonder was on hand to do his thing, like only he can. To watch, go to http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/293224-1
The homegoing service held at Washington National Cathedral. President Obama delivered the eulogy. And BeBe Winans SANG the house down. And let’s not forget Dr. Maya Angelou, harpist Jeffmajors, Dr. Camille Cosby, and mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves. It was a moving, elegant service, befitting the queen that was Dorothy Height. Watch at http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/293240-1 or http://www.nationalcathedral.org/webcasts/height.shtml.
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority held their Omega Omega Service at Howard University’s Burr Gymnasium. (Dr. Height was the 10th National President of the Deltas.) And lastly, Dr. Height was interred at Fort Lincoln Cemetery in Brentwood, MD.
Putting it all together was a ton of work; one week of non-stop activity and planning. Fortunately, I had a fabulous team, and while it was absolutely exhausting, all of us felt that it was our reasonable service. It was the least we could do to show our appreciation and thanks for the woman who broke down doors and paved the way for us to live the lives we live. We know that we stand on her shoulders.
I am proud to have known Dr. Dorothy and I will miss her every day.
View photo galleries of the week’s events: