Friday, April 30, 2010
Dorothy Height with President Obama at the White House
As I watch this video of the 1st African American President-Barack Obama sitting across the table from Civil Rights Leader Dorothy Height, I was moved by the historical significance of their exchange and their interaction. In fact as I looked at the way the camera opens up with the table separating the two figures; Pres. Obama and Dorothy Height it is an indirect reference to the two different time periods from which they both represent. Dorothy Height, civil rights activists and figure; who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and participated in the Civil Rights Movement, and President Obama a beneficiary of both Dr. King and Ms. Height's dedication and committement to the struggle for equality for black people.
It definitely was a very moving exchange, and to hear Ms. Height talked about some of the stories of the movement and how she first met 15 yr old Martin King; a new student at Morehouse. She marveled at his brillance and intelligence at such a young age. At the time of their meeting, he was contemplating whether he should go into medicine and be a doctor, or become an attorney or follow in his father's footsteps and become a minister. Ms. Height was amazed at the depth of knowledge and wisdom he expressed about what he was to become. She went to talk about what it was like to stand with Dr. King on the that autumn day in August of 1963 as he boldly declared the merits of his dream. And, then to have to the opportunity 40yrs later to stand next to the 1st African American President of the United States-Barack Obama, during his Inauguration last year and witness the fulfillment of Dr. King's dream. Marvelous!
After Pres. Obama's Inauguration Ms. Height was said to have visited the White House some 40 times meeting the President and members of his cabinet to discuss policy issues among other things. On April 21, 2010 Dorothy Height made her transition, leaving behind a tremendous legacy and miriad of accomplishment some of which include; recieving our nation's hightest honor the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1994 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 2004. Pres. Obama eulogized this great woman on yesterday during her funeral. He said of Ms. Height that was a force equality and justice and deserved to mentioned in the same breath as W.E. B Dubios and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
We salute Ms. Height and are so happy that she got to see the Dr. King's Dream realized in the inauguration in our nation's first Black President. We pray that her legacy will live on forever!