For our pioneer, my Soror, Dorothy Irene Height.

I was inspired by Loretta’s dedication here: SisterSong E-alert Tribute to Dr Height

I first met Dr. Height as an undergraduate…Eta Kappa Chapter’s overzealous Social Action Co-Chair who insisted on being present at Delta Days at the Nation’s Capital in 2003 – though it took me out of ATL during NBA All-Star Weekend, and our Chapter’s Rush.

No matter.  As one of very few undergrads, it was an amazing experience.  Replete with meetings.  Dr. Height, Julianne Malveaux, Hortense Canady, and Stephanie Tubbs Jones.  Always revered and dignified in sorority spaces, as a pioneer and our longest-termed National President, she was as expected…but equally warm with smiling eyes and spirit.  An anomaly for some who have seen so much in a lifetime.  She signed my copy of “Open Wide the Freedom Gates” and snapped a cell phone pic, which Sprint unfortunately deleted at some point.

The next experience came in 2004, where I landed as the FMF’s Campus Organizer in my first “real” job.  $26k per year and $26/per day per diem on numerous road trips to Mid-Atlantic and Southern States.  In the personal and organizational struggles leading up to the March for Women’s Lives, Dr. Height was at the table, even without being there – with the passively warring “Big 4” Feminist factions and the Women of Color actively exposing all the bullshit.  In my warmly received but ultimately failed pitch for DST to become an official sponsor – supported by Dr. E but tied up by Dr. Boyd – her ideals were at my back.  Under Geraldine P. Woods, DST was the first to come out with an openly pro-choice organization in the PanHell…quiet as it’s kept.

I saw her many times, always sharp and in a crown::as an aside, Ellie once spoke of her invite to a hat sale at Dr. Height’s condo.  Oh to have been a fly on that wall.  Legend has it that she never wore one twice, and Ellie ended up with a few.

NYT called her “unsung” – but I would hardly say so.  Perhaps not widely known, but always present, praised and respected by all who did witness her.  Always on the front line…lifting as she climbed.

To Higher Heights.

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