Friday, April 23, 2010

We Mourn the Passing of Two Amazing Civil Rights Leaders

We Mourn the Passing of Two Amazing Civil Rights Leaders

Dr. Dorothy Irene Height 3/24/12 - 4/20/10

Dr. Height is seen in this photo receiving the Congressional Gold Medal in March 2004.

She was President of National Council of Negro Women – National YMCA; The Center for Radical Justice; President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. She received the award in 1993 for extraordinary leadership in advancing women’s rights.

Some words from Dr. Height: When asked what are the achievements of NAACP? –she stated "The Anti-lynching Campaign - at that time she organized the Harlem Youth Campaign and they joined the NAACP United Youth committee with the Council Against Lynching. The NAACP are still working to make the 14th amendment fulfilled – equal justice under law. She also stated that Lillian Smith, a white southern woman , wrote ‘Strange Fruit’ and this song helped the most by exposing lynchings. Thanks to NAACP they stopped lynchings."

"As we look to the future we need to be conscious as a family in the United States and African American women seldom 'do what we want to do, but always do what we have to do.' We cannot improve condition of family without improving conditions for women and she believes that the NAACP can work on this."


Dr. Benjamin Hooks 1/31/25 - 4/15/10

Dr. Hooks is seen in this photo receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2007

Dr. Hooks was the NAACP Executive Director from 1977 - 1992. He received many awards in tribute to his precedent-setting accomplishments.

He had great memories of the greatest organization for civil rights. Proud of Anti-lynching laws.

Dr. Hooks often gave the following messages: “In A.D. 33 an African named Simon saw a man struggling with a cross – he was asked to carry cross for him and he did. – One day it will be your turn to do something about it. It’s your turn now! Pick up the cross and move on."

What can be done now? – "First, too many black athletes are making millions of $ and not giving back to the community. Michael Jackson had NAACP do voter registration at his concerts. Right wing radio – needs to go! If President Obama fails the nation fails! Everybody should support the new NAACP president Mr. Jealous."


I, along with many others, had the privilege of meeting and listening to both of these icons while attending the 100th anniversary of the NAACP in New York City in July, 2009. They were both in wheelchairs, but still had the energy and stamina to show up.
They were warriors to their last day.
Their combined 183 years of dedication to civil rights and justice for all has left an impact on the United States and every citizen who lives here. Their place in history has been signed, sealed and delivered and they will be remembered for a very long time.

Collectively, they have received so many awards and honors that I did not include in this message, but I encourage you, the reader, to research their life stories. Especially the young people so that you may understand the incredible achievements made by them.

in honor and respect.



Karima said...

Thank you, Lesley, for this beautiful tribute.

Ashanta Marie said...

I also would like to take you Lesley for posting this information and writing so beautifully.