tv Today in Washington CSPAN May 1, 2010 2:00am-5:59am EDT
again, welcome, all. i am andy can hear at shiloh church and of the door of the heights academy charter school here in the district of columbia. [applause] in number of you know our work with children and several of you have asked to do we still love children and the home and the answer is no. we now have a school and we have 1800 of them in our dorothy squall triet [applause] >> we are still working on the seating. we want to make sure we don't -- then we will do that. in the meantime we will tell more about. this is my time to give
reflections on her dorothy height. as a young man i used to work for xerox and in the early days people like congressman rangel, jackson and some that are no longer with us were looking out for the young boy helping us understand what it means to be a servant in the community. i tried to learn that from my home and it was impressed upon me clearly with those along the way. for the most part, for the most part those who were engaged in this young man were men. but as a young man who lost both of his grandmother's at a very early age, needed a grandmother. something about grandmothers,
right? so all along the way, this lady started to be friend and nurture this young boy and i asked her would you mind if i call you grand -- grandma and she said no. [laughter] that was you. i don't know. anyway. so i found myself with a grandmother, and i enjoy going and sitting on her knee and hearing and learning the various stories that she would be able to tell me. harlem, the renaissance, any number of noted figures she had a chance to walk along side of the work with and she was sharing that with her grandson. i happened to have a chance to move up to the corporate ladder.
fortunately along the way i became the first african-american vice president at xerox. and with that i had that mine disposal the power and resources of that corporate giant. and i was also getting older. in the long that we again, we kept asking how can we use this tool so for young people who are here, young people we -- who might be hearing my voice at some point in time always understand there is an obligation of responsibility to share what you have been given. we are in a church deacon church and talk about timing. sorry about this we're kind of playing with it here, it is giving all of your capacity, not just what you have in your pocket so that is what we did. and we always made sure, i will wait until everybody gets seated there, okay? alexis most telling me to move on to read you are like her.
carmen, have you been talking to alexis over here? i'm trying to get these you will see to it. okay. yes, ma'am. i will tell you the rest of the story later. [laughter] anybody want to know, just catch me afterwards. >> just for the record along the way she did become mom and i enjoyed being with mom. all right. you can explain that later because you come up later. all right. now, let us go before the throne of grace and read from the bible. i am reading from a eis a hedge after 40, that is isiah chapter 40. speak comfortable to jerusalem and cry on to her that her warfare is accomplished, that
her inequities is pardoned for she has received the lord and all of her sins. the voice that cry from the wilderness prepare way of the lord. make street in the desert a highway for our god. every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill shall be made flow. and the crooked shall be made straight and the rauf planes smoothest. in the glory of the lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together the mouth of the lord has spoken it. the voice said, cry and he should be because it what should i cry? all flesh is grass and all of the goodness there for as the flower of the field, the grass within, because the spirit of the lord blows upon it. surely the people his grass. the grass within, the flower
fades because of the spirit of the lord blows on it surely the people. the grass within the flower but the word of god shall stand forever. that brings good tidings, get thee up to the high mountains of jerusalem that brings good tidings. lift up thy voice. lift it up. be not afraid. a say on to the city of to the behold your god. behold the lord god will come with strong hands and his arm shall rule with him behold his reward is within him and his work before him. he shall feed his flock like a shepherd shall gather the land with his arms and carry them and shout those that are with young. who have measured to become measured the water and
comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure and weigh the mountains and scales and the hills in a balance. who has directed the spirit of the lord or being his counselor have taught him with whom he took his counsel with whom instructed him and taught him in the path of judgment and taught him knowledge and showed him the way of understanding. behold the nation are of the drop in the bucket and counted as small bust. behold he takes us up the aisles and it is not sufficient to burn more the beast therefore sufficient for a burnt offering. all nations before him are as nothing and counted to him less than nothing and vanishing. to whom then will he like in god or what lightness wilky para him
on two? the great image and the golden spread over the silver chains. that is so impoverished that he has not obtained he chooses a tree the will not rot. he takes on to him a kind man to prepare. he shall not be moved. have you not known, have you not heard, have you not told of the view from the beginning, have you not understood from the fountains of the earth is he that sits upon the circle of the earth and in habits therefore to the grass that stretches out to the heavens as a curtain and spreads them out as a tend to dwell. that brings he makes the judges of the earth as they shall not
be planted, they shall not be shown. they shall not take root in the earth and he shall blow upon them and they shall wither and the whirlwind shall take them away as stone to home than will like me and i shall be equal says the holy one that the allies on high and behold who have created these things and brings out the host by numbers and he calls them all by name by the greatness of his might for he has strengthened in power not one thing. i say now, jacob come and speak of israel my way is hit from the lord and my judgment is passed over from my god has vowed not known or heard the everlasting god, the lord, the earth neithes weary. there is no searching of his
understanding. he gives power to the thing and to them that had not might he increases their strength. ev the youth shall faint and be weary and the young shall utterly failed but the greatness upon the lord shall renew their strength. they shall mount up with wings as eagles and run and not be weary. they shall walk and not faint. in the reading of his holy word. i have the distinct honor and privilege to introduce to you the pastor of this esteemed church, shiloh baptist church is supporting 147 years. got that one right. 21 freed slaves that cannot from virginia. [applause] okay. and we have been in two
locations in the 147 years most of it right here. so, without further ado to take us to the opening prayer, the reverend, dr. wallace charles smith senior minister shiloh baptist church of d.c.. pastor? [applause] >>et us pray. lord god, we gather tonight to celebrate the life whose length was overshadowed by its death. a woman whose dignity and eloquence was second by her street fighter for justice determination. although she was also the only woman in the roomful of male ego she never shied away from her role as a watchman cry and loud
and loan that no one in this nation would be free until all were free. we thank you for this life, the life of a woman who was equally comfortable in the state rooms of the crown, the heads, of the nation. and just as comfortable there as in the muddied tens of a poor people's campaign. like a told she was not afraid to proclaim to the power elite that one day justice would run down like water and like an ever flowing stream. like the profit, jeremiah, he prayed for the piece of the city knowing that in the piece of the city was the salvation of an asian. like the prophet isaiah she saw
the day coming when every valley would be exalted, every mountain brought low, every crooked police made street and every rough place made plain. lord, we thank you for this life of a woman who meant so much to so many and lord we've gathered here tonight to celebrate that life to celebrate the life of the most stylish charming and elegant john and this world has ever known. the lord god, thank you for dr. dorothy height, thank you for the leedy with a tough mind and tender heart. we think you that her memory and legacy will live with us and shall not forget as sacrifices, her compassion and the way in which she refused to allow the
power that be to go unchallenged by the voices of justice and freedom in jesus' name we pray, amen. >> thank you, pastor. i have said that pastor smith is the pastor of the shiloh church in washington, d.c.. i'm a fourth generation washingtonian and i've been around here for awhile and all of those congressional people want to get a bounce here we would appreciate it. sorry about that. i had to do that one. but we do have a mayor that is fighting for that.
we have to bring greetings from the citizens to welcome you as our mayor, the mayor of the district of columbia, the nation's capital mayor adrianne fenty. [applause] >> good evening. praise the lord. this morning i was at 653 pennsylvania avenue and tomorrow will be in the national cathedral and two locations in washington, d.c. but two of the many that dr. dorothy height about the great opportunity to count her great spirit on see the world figure she is a national treasure but to those of us in washington, d.c. we
think of her as a washingtonian still 633 pennsylvania ave. the only building between the capitol and the white house owned by an african-american a woman. [applause] i'm going to read a proclamation of you will indulge me i'm joined by the chair of the council district of columbia, councilmember charles schwartz. i think i saw mayor for life council member marion berry and i would ask them to join ne rd e proclamation please. [applause] i will stt and alternate with our chairman. april 20, 2010. dr. dorothy irene height was a national treasure to and body
strength and dignity for almost a century has left us to mourn her loss. whereas during her lifetime dr. height received numerous honors for her service to the world including the presidential medal of freedom, the congressional gold medal and 36 al-marri doctorate degrees and -- [laughter] >> whereas dr. height proved life for african-americans through her advocacy in the 1940's. with first lady eleanor roosevelt in the 1950's. the president eisenhower and in the 1960's. president kennedy and johnson and fellow leaders of the civil
rights movement. >> whereas dr. height's have century as a member, president and chairman of the notional council of negro women demonstrates her incredible strength and determination to leave this world a better place than she founded. >> now, therefore, we, the government in the district of columbia on behalf of all of the people who call washington, d.c. home do thank the national council of negro women, dr. dorothy height for the presence in d.c. and the importance to the world. god bless all of you. thank you very much. [applause] ♪
>> thank you. we appreciate you taking the time this evening to celebrate the life of dr. height and it to be with us on this day where we all share our condolences. dr. height inspired women to know their power and many powerful women to make home here in the nation's capital. some congresswoman eleanor holmes norton have channeled this inspiration and power into making millions more know that this is their home to the house that is their house. she welcomed a daughter of the movement. i must say that her father knew my house, her father and my father had dinner too many nights i wasn't sure who was too. welcome, my sister. eleanor holmes norton, congress [applause] district colombia.
extended of course means those of us who filled the church this evening and millions more in the nation and throughout the world so broad and deep with the reach and the wife of dr. dorothy i. reena height, the d.c. residents and for me, this celebration of dr. height's life is profoundly personal. when she moved from new york, she often reminded me she had become one of my constituents only to have me remind her i had been her constituent of my life. she could not live without in nursing herself in the life of the city and b.c. voting rights became one of her great causes, too.
but for some like me a child of the civil rights movement, dorothy was the indispensable leader even before i knew her, and mentor for the child and the student nonviolent, for the girl in the student nonviolent committee when the civil rights leaders were almost the only the certainly the most important national leadership for black america. there were very few elected officials then there was one and only one woman of the top. but dorothy height was to become the visionary whose signature is now on all of the great causes for justice of her time. she began as a teenager whose instinct for justice let her to protest whinging and to demand equal rights for black people. by the end of her life, however,
dr. height had lived the longest and most productive life of leadership for civil rights and women's rights in american history. [applause] but dorothy height walked a straight line for human-rights that accommodated no division among groups confusion rose among black people as the women's rights movement emerged, dorothy height, president of the national council of negro women lead by example so well that black people soon understood that for black women who had two strikes against them yet what do no good to let either remain.
dorothy seemed to know how important her continuing participation and presence was for the many causes she championed. because she continued to speak and attend events until she was admitted under protest to the harvard university hospital because she argued she had a speaking engagement to go to. dorothy height will always be remembered as a woman off immense increase, elegance and modesty but she did not go quietly. she lived as an activist on till the very end of her life, maximizing all of her 87 years spreading her brilliant gift into the sparkling like to see that we all were so pleased to celebrate tonight.
good night, got a mother. [applause] >> thank you free much, congresswoman norton for your reflections. as one might expect this celebration of life of dr. dorothy height has the location that the gathering of congresswomen, for year when, is that right? where are the warrior women in here? [applause] all right. why is, compassionate, loving women and there is a few men in the house, too. any brothers in the house? [applause] all right, here we go. americans and members of this great human family not least
among them for this evening's program. her name is synonymous with essence, the brand she billed as an editor-in-chief during her 37 years at the magazine. she is a woman after my own heart as we share a passion for young people. today she is dedicated to what she calls the most important work of her life in mentor recruitment movement rooted in 56 cities calling to commit every able black adult mentor a vulnerable young person. lot of those going off to harvard or hampton but our children who are dropping a lot of school and selling the nation's prisons, more on our watch, she says. congresswoman norton talked about dr. height's elegance. the one who can say grace, charm, duty, brilliance,
excellence. dr. height hour ceremony for the evening the editor-in-chief of essence magazine and founder and shes here. madam suzanne peery [applause] islamic it is my honor to be here tonight. my only sadness is i am sitting back here and cannot see this beautiful photograph of our beloved dr. dorothy height. we know that she was tired, but she wore us out. [applause] [laughter] and no matter how old our beloved one was, we just didn't want her to leave. we didn't want this evening to
come. but here we are and we are going to make it a celebration. and i can see, alexis, i will also have to be a police officer, juneau, so each speaker is coming to have two minutes and if you go way beyond that you will hear a little music from the organist, and that means please, wrap it up. [laughter] so i'm going to move the program along. it is such an honor for me to be here to join you in a paging tribute to a woman who probably all of us who are in here tonight had the honor of knowing and some very special way and we are going to hear some of those stories recounted tonight. we men are as our leader. it's still hard to speak about her in the past tense. we knew her as a great fighter certainly the person who took the national council of negro women and lifted it high.
needed more than the soon another hero of mine imagined it could ever be. we had so many names for our beloved dr. dorothy height. as many people speak about her humility, grace, charm, beauty, the love she has for her people. and tonight we are here to say thank you to you, dr. height for letting us so deeply and so well and course we are here in the church that she loved and the church in which mary mcleod worshiped. and tonight we simply pay tribute to the life and surprising time of dr. dorothy ene height. [applause] ..
she is walking history. >> in 1986 we want to celebrate our traditional values and our strengths. >> this is the first building own by any african-american individual or institution in downtown washington. >> you have to say to yourself we have tried in and give it the best that i have. and and that would do it again.
♪ [applause] the shiloh baptist church choir is in the house. [applause] i must say, james johnson, and his brother, our national anthem the written in 1902 and jacksonville, florida. in last our feet stray from the places our gone where we left the, last our hearts drunk with the wine of the world and we forget the, to many of us have forgotten. dr. dorothy height never.com she
never forgot. tonight we lift her name up and we think the choir for that. [applause] an incredible life and journey on the path of purpose and direction. dr. height was the consummate teacher because she was the consummate student. she took life seriously. her early years at home with her mother and father, fannie and james wright, there are the most important ones. miss annie and her daddy, they did not play. they pushed their children and encourage them to strive for excellence. her parents, sisters and brothers provided a loving, a large family and young dorothy, she's right in it. she was the best of the best of the students from the very beginning. her family, large and here,
although she had no biological children dr. dorothy just loved her nieces and nephews so well. so let us hear from a height family, please welcome dr. dorothy sneath use, howard randolph and william griggs and her great niece pamela jackson. [applause] >> good evening. my name is howard brandel jr., and a great nephew of the dr. height. and on behalf of the height family i would like to thank you for your condolences and support of our beloved aunt. the family was like to at this time and give special thanks to
me to say that again. also i would like to give special thanks to christine tony. [applause] the right hand assistant to dr. height. [applause] where is she? [applause] christine, christine knows everything about our family. [laughter] there is nothing christine doesn't know. four years ago we made her an honorary member of our family and she has a plaque to prove it. one thing she doesn't know, we made her an honorary member so we could sway her -- swear her to secrecy. [laughter] but i want to thank christine, she's done a lot for our family. we could call her any time and there wasn't anything she wouldn't do for us. thank you.
[applause] mrs. loa early. [applause] forty-three years i believe. 40? well, i'm telling new, i am sure that within that time there wasn't one year that she didn't have to deal with our family and she was always there for us. thank you very much. [applause] the list to say, mrs. alexis herman. [applause] she had a special place in the heart of the and dorothy.
[applause] i want to thank alexis for her leadership because this never would have taken place in a short time and that it took and there were times when i spoke to you and i just knew you were there and i want to thank you again for your leadership and all the people that work hard with you to put this together. dr. height had a special meaning not only to her family, whose she inspired, but to many of you who have come far and near to show your respect to a woman who has given her life and the struggle against the injustices of the people. she was a fighter to the end. i would like to have heard of her argument with saint peter when she went up to the pearly gates. [laughter] i am sure, i am sure she argued
her point and try to have a saint peter understand how much time, how much more time she needed to do her unfinished business. [laughter] and i am sure, i am sure saint peter replied in: if you have done your part -- you have done your part, you have walked the walk, talk the talk, you left a legacy for others to follow and now, dorothy, is time for you to rest. in let us let the others continue. [applause] dorothy, you will be missed by the family. thank you. [applause] >> good evening. you know, often people ask what
was dorothy or as they say dr. dorothy to us. she belonged to the world, but to us she was just and dorothy. we only had her baby for christmas and thanksgiving and holidays and birthdays, but the one thing that we had it at all to ourselves was the family union. but even then and that part of her she gave to the world. through the back -- through the black family. [applause] in our is -- in our eyes that is your greatest legacy because without our family where are we?
they are the backbone for all of us. and i can remember as a child my grandmother and all of you know her sweet potato pies, that recipe really wasn't my grandmother's. [laughter] but i can remember when we would have to cut the pie is, fry the chicken, but water and what they call the mayonnaise jar, and the chicken and was in a shoebox. we would take to the railroad station because dorothy was coming to town, she was passing through and we had to meet her at the station to give her her food because she couldn't eat on the train. those other realities we face and those of the reality is in which she worked so hard and
diligent all of her life so that we could go to the car and sit down and eat. and drank like everybody else. but then again, it is still family. in and to all of you who took the time to come today and on behalf of our family and my older cousin, especially bernard, and billy, we thank you. and remember us all is when you remembered her because she has always been our backbone and i think it's one of our hardest deeds was to let her go. but we had to and i thank you again for being here and all the familiar faces, not only those with you personally but those
who were close to her, gave her strength along the way, and for those who were her backbone i thank you. [applause] >> good evening. of this evening i stand before you as a member of the family who craves a tremendous loss. our country mourns and many in the world a week. we'll come together to pay our respects to dorothy height for that is not only our desire but our need to do so. it says volumes about her
extraordinary appeal that so many of you have joined us today. it isn incredible tribute to the one of some many of you have called the godmother of civil-rights. two many dorothy height was the very essence of kindness, of compassion, of duty, a service, and, of course, of style. she symbolized selfless humanity. she asks nothing for herself, but everything to assist others. she was a standard bearer for african-american rights and she transcended her own racial identity. in she was someone with a national -- natural nobility but she was also disarmingly down to
earth. and that was your particular brand of magic. she was quietly persuasive, she whispered in the years of presidents, kings, educators, social and humanitarian ends to understand that at our core all of us saw the same and we deserve equality and respect. today we have a chance to say thank you, thank you for the way you have pride in our lives. have a chance to say thank you gone them to live with us for so long with such a productive life. we are grateful that god gave you almost a decade -- not a decade -- a century. [laughter] to be with us. [applause]
we the family are truly grateful to many of you who are able to share the appreciation for all of per life's work, her service through the many awards and commendations he bestowed on her. while those of you were close to her such as our family will find it hard, very hard to be without her. we take comfort in the fact that she gave us a legacy of strength and perseverance. we take comfort in the fact that her message was one of selfless service to others. this is the legacy we take with us. we will miss you, dorothy. we will miss the very core of your being. we will miss your waterfall ms. shelia stumer, that sparkle
in your eid, we will miss the boundless energy that put those less than half their age to shame. [laughter] [applause] the last time i saw her was march 27th, three days after her 98th birthday. she squeezed my hand as if to impart her strength in me so that we as a family would carry on her legacy and transcended to all of you as well. one i can tell that her mind was racing with all the problems because she was not going to let a hospital bed stop her from her life's work. she always wanted to push the ball forward. her steadfast refusal. >> down in the face of overwhelming odds is another one
of her legacies. in which we will always treasure. her levelheaded this and strength despite the most in transit obstacles are her lasting endowments to my family and i dare say this nation. two those of you who were close to dorothy height in your own way, to those of you who adopted dorothy height into our family, to those of you who are somehow touched by her singular acts of kindness, to those of you who are beneficiaries of her acts of courage as i look around the room, i know that many of you are those beneficiaries. i say, i do not be sad at the passing of dorothy height. two those of you who may be chewed up, you should take comfort in the knowledge that god blesses us with her presence for so long. you can also take comfort in the
knowledge that when she it arrived at those pearly gates, she was in a rush to get in because she had much to do. [laughter] [applause] thank you. [applause] >> i am telling them, they are a family of origin. what marvelous speakers. thank you so much and know that our hearts and our prayers and our joy, all of those things are unfolding you. thank you. dorothy height's school years, they were marked by diligence and the emergence to scholarship and then shaped early on the woman we would all come to know. she knew firsthand the pain of racism while attending franklin high school and the franklin christian center and the gross reserves and on the debate team.
there were disappointments and great lessons, but always a gentle soul, a determined one and always a lady. dorothy excelled on every level, but let the legend herself recall her childhood and her own words. given voice to this evening by a young woman, crystal, and because young dorothy also enjoyed playing the piano, is special musical tributes from concert pianist, dana christina july. [applause] ♪ ♪ ♪
but she did not make me compete with myself and made me perform outpoured. and i brought my report card home, she would ask what happened. last time you made 92, this tiny made 90. i protested 90 was the best grade in the class. i did not ask what other people did, my mother would reply. i want to know about dorcy height. what happened is she didn't do as well as she did the last time. even today after i made some kind of public presentation i have to evaluate it for myself. i want to give everything my best because when you do that, you give much more -- you give much more than you give. that is one of my mother's last
things legacy. [applause] >> and you know it goes back to -- and dr. dorothy poured so much into our young women. those words from a open why did to the freedom gates. you must read dr. dorothy's autobiography if you haven't, "open wide the freedom gage." and my sister on the piano, where are you sitting here? [applause] she left? phenomenal. we want the recording. this is an amazing journey that we are accounting tonight. in the years after high school graduation, dorothy height journeyed to what is seen as the american mecca, the cultural
crossroads to some people, new york city. she won first place in the national oratory contest on the constitution of the united states and the prize was a four year scholarship paid to the college of her choice because she was interested in medicine and her older brother suggested that she go to barnhart because they had a wonderful science program and that would prepare her for psychiatry. immediately she was accepted but not admitted. for an interview she was rejected because some of the college had already filled its quote the for black women too. she pleaded but they were adamant they were holding the only two places for young black women that year. the 17-year-old dorothy was
devastated. school was my love, my life, she said. i couldn't call home and report that i wasn't going to college, that they didn't want me. crushed and confused, she went to harlem with her sister, jesse randolph, and they called big brother william. william was always positive one. he said there were other choices, there were other schools. check out in why you to delete -- nyu savitt on a train to greenwich village on the last day of technicians and just an hour before closing, dorothy hadn't filled out an application for the university and didn't have her high school diploma with her but when the teenager presented her elegant and elegant salles, her high school transcript that she had talked
in her purse along with the barnhart admittance letter, the dean whose name dr. dorothy always called said a girl who makes these kind of grades doesn't need an application to enroll at nyu come and dorothy height was accepted on the spot. it was 1929 and harlem was hot. it was ground zero for almost everything black during the harlem renaissance and dr. dorothy height was mentored by w.e.b. du bois and inspired by poets like langston hughes. he was roused and awakened by paul robeson the school her and schools remained her passion. she graduated from n.y.u. and went on to earn a master's degree from the university, master's degree in social work.
it was in harlem and at and why you her passion to serve the community come her passions for activism and service that is where it all came together. she had begun that effort in high school but they're in harlem and at nyu and was amplified. it was new york city that she actualized her crusade for racial justice and equality for black women color all women protesting, marching and forging alliances for the building of a better world for. in the state of new york, a little new york new york, in the state of new york please welcome harlem congressman charles rangel and the reverend al sharpton. [applause]
let me thank you and the secretary of state for all that you are doing for haiti. [applause] and all that you do for humankind and dr. height wouldn't want it any other way. i have two minutes and i know i was supposed to be on at 7:30. if we keep this up we will have breakfast here to get their. i thought that the oregon player was supposed to give a warning after two minutes but if it is new york new york i will be here a while. when i take a look at this great audience i am thinking some of you think you have a personal and special relationship with
dorothy height. [laughter] and if you had the opportunity, you might kent amos would start talking about that special relationship. so i'm going to start off in the first of my two minutes by suggesting that take a deep breath and just think what you would say about your very special relationship and how you felt in your heart that you were a best friend. [laughter] because i cannot tell you when i got out of the army and went to the hotel i was a desk clerk. i didn't know john lewis or al sharpton or don king or cicely tyson but i knew that no one knew me. i was a high school dropout and she went to the hotel and i would be less than honest to you that she squeezed my hand, too.
[laughter] and i kind of thought i was just someone special and that twinkle in her eye, the softness of the voice that i had told her so many times just ask me what you want done. and she has never heard me say that to her but i said just tell me anything you want, dr. height, and i will see it done. i listened to the congressional black caucus tell me about the special relationships. will you please stand, the members of the congressional black caucus that are here? [applause] and i know that everyone is here with those important thing that she did is she was the chollet of my life and i am here to say
that everyone of you that is sitting here just thinking about her did see the encouragement to know that within all of us there is a little bit, just a little bit of the dorothy height and i want to make a special thanks to dorcy skinner and alexis herman will defeat, because without their ethics this big family not be a genetic family but this family of love and affection and willingness to make certain that the world will never forget the legend that god has given us the opportunity to breathe the same error and to know and love her. god bless. [applause] >> to the family of secretary alexis herman, president and secretary of state, certainly we all give our love as we think of
the harlem years of dorothy height and i must say to susan tayler i know we only have two minutes, and i was sitting there, ambassador yondah told me who knows i grew up pentecostal he told me when they play the music that isn't for me to start preaching, that is to sit down. [laughter] if they start playing music in a black church with a black preacher. [laughter] the years of activism that we came to know were born in harlem because what many do not realize is that long before we fought and jim crow in the south, dorothy knott was fighting him in the north. when they marched to get to blacks hired on 125th street in the thirties, dorothy height
worked in the don't buy where you can't shop movement. when they were boycotting buses and harlem years before montgomery, dorothy height was on line with adam whole and gillibrand off to desegregate the buses and harlem. so what many see in the latter part of life don't see that she planted the seeds of a movement that changed america. dorothy height was not some latter-day celebrity. she was a real activist from her very young years all the way to the she was part of the harlem renaissance where we learned poetry and prose and did not denigrate our women and ourselves and call it art. [applause]
and she had that bear in that you find yourself straightening yourself up when dr. height was in the room. she never really reprimanded us, she just kind of looked at us. [laughter] and the way that she would look would tell us you know you didn't pronouns that and you know you split that burba and ought not be talking if you don't have anything to say. laughter, [applause] so from where the roots of activism from adam cowal cancellara randolph all the way through the civil rights movement of the south all the way to now dorothy height was there.
some make the mistake that the height was great because she lasted so long but many have lived long but few have lived well. [applause] [inaudible] no president milward the flag with half staff for [inaudible] reason the flag will be lowered is because she was there from the eda to boys to powell to king all the way to now she never stopped. if it was prodding franklin roosevelt standing with truman to desegregate the troops were standing with eisenhower after the '54 decision or standing with dr. king as he challenged john kennedy or standing with lyndon johnson for the voter
rights or challenging richard nixon on affirmative action are dealing with jimmy carter and gerald ford or standing with bill clinton against the forces that turn us around, she was there if you call the record of it and you get to the record dorothy height was always there. [applause] i must say this in closing. my last conversation with her demonstrates how she was always there. we met in january with president obama around the issue of black unemployment. she was scheduled to be one of the first. a blizzard hit washington that
night before, and we somehow got down any way. the president said well, dr. height can't make it i understand. but she couldn't understand. she kept calling me at the hotel that morning trying every way she could to get out of the house to that meeting. finally, they had to take her by the wheelchair to the library building to show her the streets were blocked off. laughter, to convince her she couldn't make the meeting. so the compromise was she got me on the phone and talk to me literally until we got to the door of the oval office. finally she said to me i should have called alexis. i don't know about trusting you fellows to meet by yourself. [applause]
[laughter] she says is valerie jergens going to be in there? i said i believe so. she said all right. i have got to have a strong woman in the room. call me the moment you come out. [laughter] when we came out of the long extensive meeting i am standing there in the snow with my two colleagues talking and my cellphone jumping out of my pocket. i finally answered it in the snow she said what did you all say and now what are you going to do. [laughter] that was dorothy height, fighting to make sure we had action, not just sound bites. fighting to make sure that women walked shoulder to shoulder with men. she not only fought for blacks, she fought for women in and everybody. the race isn't given to the swift. we have seen a lot swift people.
nor is it given to the strong. but those that can endure to the end. she fought a good fight. she kept her faith and finished the call. peter, you can open the gate now. i hope that you have a good store in heaven. [applause] and the leaders i know have been convening this year, but i can imagine dr. bernice that you're father, dr. king, and randolph and others have been putting meetings together to try to help us through the times of health care and finance reform and hate in arizona. i can imagine they've been trying to spend their spirits to
help us out, and i realized the other night when dr. hooks ran to join the meeting that is when dr. height told them all right. i'm going to come and now. i never did trust you fellows meeting by yourself. [applause] >> the reverend al sharpton, and our congressmen charles rangel. i'm going to ask the men in the house to still standing. women, take your seats. in the name of dr. dorothy height and underscoring what reverend al sharpton just said, we, the women who are gathered here, have a major asking a few, and that is that you never had a meeting -- laughter rose -- seriously, fighting for the rights of people, when you are
fighting for peace, when you are standing strongly for communities making sure the rule is also filled with women that every time you look around that table and there are only man sitting with you, know that you are out of balance and that it's never going to work. [applause] we want that pledge in the name of our beloved dr. dorothy height, and we really need it tonight, because we have made this world a very dangerous place. dangerous because you know what we do? we shrink back from a life worrying about a whole host of things that shouldn't take our time, talent and energy and when women and men are not joined shoulder to shoulder to fight for things that our society and children and country, our communities need, we see the result of it right now, there is pain everywhere in the world. in the name of dr. dorothy height i ask for that pledge to
make sure that women are at the table. raise your hand if you are going to do it. [applause] i want to see the hands shoot up. women, i want a photograph of this moment. we are holding you to this. thank you, brothers, all. okay. thank you for that, reverend al sharpton. that gave me the perfect segue to get what i wanted done in the world come and we have a powerful gathering in here tonight. could you imagine if we would allow all that dr. dorothy stood for to fire our heart and our will and our movement we would change the landscape, changed the landscape from coast to coast. it is a work day as my husband says we have to get busy. so, new york. we are back to new york. like washington and is a magnet for do worse. those who were not born there
are drawn to it especially harlem like dr. dorothy was and like president bill clinton, who presented dr. height with the presidential medal of freedom, the highest honor bestowed on an american citizen. [applause] from new york city, from harlem that you, president clinton, from harlem, please, come. [applause] >> thank you to very much. thank you. thank you for a much, susan, pastor, to acquire and to the wonderful musicians and all of the people who've spoken before. reverend sharpton, i am convinced the reason dorothy was
called home is from that had store. [laughter] i mean, look, she was a feminist before there was a movement, the debate could for immigration before it was a primary goal, civil rights movement, and now she doesn't want nuns to be the only ones in heaven with something on their head. [laughter] it is pretty simple what is going on. you know, from the time i first met dorothy when she, thanks to mary in edelman was involved in the children's defense fund, and hillary was, until just a couple of weeks before she passed away, she was always the same to me. a couple weeks before she passed away yes, she was in a wheelchair and lost a lot of weight but somehow she was still dressed to the mind, had a beautiful had on and had that look like yeah, i am warm and
friendly unles you do wrong. [laughter] i'm just an old-fashioned leedy but i will cut your head off if you do anything wrong. [laughter] i speak the most elegant english, but i could dismantle you and street slang. i told dorothy i thought should get a kick out of me moving to harlem. i said i moving to harlem where you started. where do you think of that? there goes the neighborhood. [laughter] i want to tell you something that i know. for years after i gave her the medal of freedom hillary and i went to africa on the most
extensive trip a president had ever taken, and was really interesting. we were in this little village in ugonda and there was the newest board baby named bill clinton. [laughter] then we went to a village and a little baby go goat was named bill clinton. laughter coachers the point of all of this. curious hillary and me and the goat. this is dorothy's go to, and i want you to know why. this village was way out on the edge of the desert but not in the area near the coast. it was just about as far into the desert as you could have a village like this and it existed because years and years before the united council of negro women and before usaid and before anybody else gave them
well so they could live and raise goats. [applause] a couple of years later i was at the white house and felt more in the last few years we were always bumping into each other one way or another. and then the first president bush and i were asked to work on hurricane katrina so we raised money and gave it to the community colleges and churches and alexis helped us a lot. but remember we kept some areas kind of for ourselves. we would go to some communities and do work on our own. and they said there's this area that is unbelievable. it's an african-american area where everybody owned their own home and they just paid their mortgage off thanks to dorothy, the united council of negro
women built middle class african-american, owning, stable neighborhood 30 years before hurricane katrina. [applause] she was out there ahead of her time and that is what made her so beautiful, 98-years-old, still a very old fashioned proper lady to the last moment on earth ahead of her time. so now she has gone ahead of us and i hope she will make our excuses to st. peter so we can get in there with her. [laughter] but if anybody who earned her way, dorothy height did. thank you. [applause]
>> hillary it's why we love him so much. [applause] and you are so right, president clinton, dorothy height was so far, so far ahead of her time. and you know, it is so stunning that with a career in civil rights, spending nearly 80 years, the pioneering women who gave so much, the first person in the modern civil rights era to merge the issues of equality for women, black women and for african-americans. it is just stunning that her history along with that of most black women for years. that history is written visible
eink triet looking to the cannon and even books by black scholars and you'll find more than a paragraph or so about the work, the incredible work that even what president clinton just recounted gereed show me the book that's not written by someone in the council for this document and implied and spread out over a chapter or a whole book written about that. it was cropped from the picture figuratively and sometimes literally by the agenda by use and to fight for racial justice and to decide in the struggle for the legendary quality. but tonight to know what we are doing? we are setting the record straight and saying young scholars, go to work doing the
documentation. the ywca, the young women's christian association is where dr. dorothy height home to her social activism skills. it was their becoming in 1937 that she found end of this opportunity for the fall in tourism in the service to people in need. as assistant is the executive director of the new york ywca, her advocacy group into a leadership in the movement for women's rights joining us tonight from the ywca for the past presidents of the ywca you -- usa. [applause] >> thank you very much. there can be no story told about
dorothy irene height with out including the ywca and there can be no history written about the ywca with that feature in the dorothy irene height. thir inextricably intertwined. from the beginning a lot of you have shown a social conscience but there was dr. speed of's arrival on the staff that the organization became much more focused and committed to the inclusiveness of a foundational value. an organization that existed to end our women and girls soon realized through her teaching and by her example that no one could be truly empowered unless all women were in power. there were many initiatives and in paris this to explore creating jobs for more
educational opportunities, fighting discrimination however with dr. height in sight and leadership of the ywca membership of women and girls understood that to achieve their purpose there could be only one comparative and that one in paris was to thrust of our collective power towards the elimination racism wherever it exists and by any means necessary. [applause] thank you. with tenacity and passion for the cause dr. height set up the office of racial justice and served the ywca for nearly 40 years. at the ywca no one ever talks about what dr. height said. it's always what dr. height
taught and did she ever teach us racism is not just discrimination alone it is discrimination plus power. is the power that we must change. blacks and whites have both caught in a web of racism. so we must work together to achieve mutual understanding. she left the ywca with many leaders that she had taught and rich racial justice material she had developed for training and workshops. many are still being used today. in her book, open-minded to the freedom gates she wrote the following. in 1937i chose the ywca and i
have been glad ever since. it gave a base and meaning for my life work. i was humbled and thankful to have been made an honorary member of the national board in 1977 and i was honored in april 2000 from the ywca establish of the dorothy irene speed height racial war which was presented to president william jefferson high clinton. it is heartening to me to know that the mission of the white ywca mission is to empower women and eliminate racism. dorothy irene height loved the ywca and loved and revered her fight back. [applause]
>> and good evening. i had the great honor and pleasure of meeting dr. height when i was a woman from the bosom of the appalachian mountains when i was 18-years-old. i am forever and grateful that she put those hands on me. i come here tonight to bring you greetings from the world ywca 25 million women and girls strong in the more than 100 countries. [applause] we give thanks. we've praise god for a life so incredibly well lived. dr. height believed in the mission of the ywca.
she belonged as alexis said to the national staff for 40 years. she became the creator of the ywca racial injustices institute and gatherings around the globe heard word and work spread. she was a superb leader and eliminating teacher. why? dr. height was patient. but let me tell you something. she was not too patient. [laughter] she was purposeful and was purposeful in her conviction for it from the very beginning. you knew that when you first met her. she demanded that we learn much and she demanded of some of
the affairs of on some that we wouldn't on what learn some things and that we unlearn some of our culture. [applause] she would say to us not one ??? is born a racist in their heart. that is taught, that is learned. she developed a profound visual tool called the web of racism which has not been translated into several languages. she was exceedingly clear about the connection of racism and sexism with no apologies nuclear understanding when dr. height got finished with you, you knew it. you understood it. and she called us for word in those warrior headdresses called
hats. [laughter] she called us to a greater good. you ask and she would often say if we are not the women for these times then who is? you told us when men and know how to build bridges to each other and to break down borders and barriers. now we in the ywca of the world pick up your eliminating torch and carry it forward as best we can because you want us to do better than just our best. we need to follow you in your name, in your honor we know that we will go forward. you told us that women have always been profits. this work requires deep faith,
acts of faith, acts of will and especially acts of love. we commit ourselves to the past and do strengthened by your deep faith in the god of less all and/or scheerer will peace, justice, freedom, dignity may we help make it so in our time. thank you, dr. dorothy irene height. the height of the occasion he left your fingerprint on my heart and on all of ours. thank you. good night. [applause] >> thank you. i have to get a worrier headdress. we are going to move the program
a little more swiftly. i am going to ask those of you coming up to speed to do what i just did. i went through and edited myself and i'm taking all the wonderful stories i had to tell you so we are only moving to introductions. you know why? because we are only halfway through and we cannot stay here another two and a half hours so we are going to move swiftly. what i want to do is bring forward a woman who dr. dorothy height loved so much and who loved her back and had her back. a beloved friend to the black community and a steadfast supporter of dr. height's vision and quest for equality for women. she was always there for dr. dorothy height. secretary of state and former first lady of the united states welcome the honorable hillary rodham clinton. [applause]
>> good evening. dorothy irene height was one of long how -- hallelujah gereed [laughter] i've never given a speech in a hat before. [laughter] [applause] but i thought there were ever an occasion to do so, this was a. and i want to pay tribute and acknowledge dorothy's sister who is here with us. thank you for sharing her with all the fuss over all these years. sometimes we are blessed on this earth by people who are simply not ordinary. we know them and we can feel that and as maya angelo put it
people have been mortal among the squeal and make it difficult to believe that the effort really inhabited human form. they were so noble, so fierce. i got to know dr. height when i was privileged to work and then served as the board chair of the children's defense fund with my friend, marion wright, and i learned a lot from your height. we called her this height at the children's defense fund. she was elegant, yet she had no air about her. she was brilliant without a trace of arrogance. she was passionate but never overheated. something i really had to learn. [laughter] what the bill didn't tell you in
the story of the bill we -- billy goat is when we learned about this alleged because the national council of negro women and dorothy height he said where did you get this? one of the women said do you know queen dorothy height? [applause] she gave us this well. so one more title to add. she said one time i don't mess around. i don't like to be in something where you are stealing wedding of anger and so forth. so she didn't was due to, she did. when she was denied watching as others in the speech championship in harrisburg, she
didn't stew, she won. [applause] and the house we heard when she was admitted to barnard but denied involvement she didn't stew, she went across town to new york. when as a young woman she heard the naacp announcement each time a black man who was lynched she didn't stew, she protested. she marched and joined other students wearing black armbands to demand an end to the killing. early in of life at a youth church conference in england ms. height was moved by the advice of one speaker, the radical in what you do, what don't try to be a radical. so she didn't stew about the world as it was and is. she fought to change it if only
she could. i have tried, she said, to be steady on a course and not jumping up and down and saying everything you think. but getting some way to say what can i do that will make it better. better especially for those on the margins and better especially for women and girls. she understood that talent is wasted if it isn't paired with opportunity and that women and girls make up the majority of the world's poor and uneducated and unhealthy and on the fed and too often they are skilled today denied their rights as human beings. but she didn't stew. at the ywca and the national council of negro women and every other leadership role she held she focused on matching the god-given talent of the women and girls with the opportunities that the desert. she focused on the basics and asked the rest of us to do the
same. as i look out here and i see so many friends and colleagues and people who i admire i know that there is an occasion or to in this town and when this doing seems about all we can do. [laughter] but let's remember dr. height. let's think about what she did and what she would do as we face the challenges of today and tomorrow. she understood as one of the few leaders of her time or any other time did that women's rights and civil rights are indivisible. you can't say that you are for one and not before the other. [applause] she knew that for black women in america there was and still is a double win any of discrimination but she didn't stew and neither
should we. she fought for better working conditions for black domestic workers and new york decades ago. she fought not only for school integration but for gender integration. and she stood up for the rights of women at every chance that she got. in this room there are so many of us that she inspired and guided and mentored. few people in the nation have had more cause for anger and less time for it. when her close friend, dr. king, died, she said they might have killed the dreamer but not the dream. and lucky for us, she didn't just dream. she was a doer and kept that dream alive. her life's mission is now our mission. i thought a lot about her in the last days. i thought about that smile and
that john dean way she carried herself even in a wheelchair. [laughter] and i felt about how over 98 years she didn't seek the limelight with. often times she was the seventh one, the one on the end in the photographs of the big six or maybe she wasn't even in the photograph at all. she wasn't often asked to speak back in those days either but she didn't stew, she just kept working so long as broad let me live i will be in the firing line she said. i don't need to be elected, i don't need to be appointed, i will do what i believe it is intended that i should do. so, dr. height, we are going to remember so much about you. we are going to smile every time we think about you.
every time that we see a well dressed lady wearing a hat we are going to think about dorothy height, and we are going to know you would want us to follow your lead and continue your legacy. you made us a better people and more equal and fair nation. but our work is far from over and the best way we can honor your memory after the speeches and the stories are told is to get up and do as you would do. we have no time for the stewing, we have to get about doing. thank you. god bless you, my friend. [applause]
people. i have cut out more than half of what i had to say. i'm going to ask you to do the same anyone who gets up to speak so i got in there is you. dr. dorothy always wanted to be a doctor from the time she was a little girl. that is right [applause] stand up and you're beautiful red hats and suits, you look beautiful. [applause] and so she was initiated as a member of these are ready she loved for so long when she was in grad school at new york university. so welcome the president cynthia@mcintyre and of the feminist majority foundation. [applause]
>> [inaudible] what matters most is how we live and how we love and how we spend. linda's is a reference to the fragment of a line between the years of one's birth and death. since dr. height's passing i have thought a lot about her dash. it could probably fill more volumes in all of the book encyclopedia is still one ourselves. but was never about her, her humility and her presence were her brand. per oratorical skills with a special gift and her ability to promote unity was not matched. i knew i was in the presence of greatness whenever i was in the company of sorrow for dr. dorothy height. my most memorable experience will be that day in july 2008 when she granted me the privilege