Google Tributes Dorothy Height with a Doodle on Her 102nd Birthday

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If you're in the United States, today you'll see activist Dorothy Height represented in the Doodle at the top of your screen. Dr. Height would have been 102 years old today.

Like many of the women whose work were integral to the success of the Civil Rights Movement of the mid-century, Dr. Height's contributions are often overlooked in historical texts.

She helped plan the March on Washington in 1963, and even sat on stage with Martin Luther King, Jr as he gave one of the most remembered speeches in history.

But Height would not become a noted name in the movement until many years later.

Height was born in Richmond, Va., on Mar. 24, 1912, but grew up outside of Pittsburgh. She was awarded an Elks scholarship, and graduated from New York University in 1932 with a bachelor's degree in education and a master's degree in psychology. Though Height was admitted to Barnard, she could not enroll because she was Black.

She went to work as a caseworker in New York’s Welfare Department, and began volunteering in support of civil rights activism.

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She left the welfare department to work with the national staff of the YWCA in 1944, and quickly became a national leader for the rights of women and blacks. He was elected national president of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority in 1946, giving her another platform to organize support for civil rights.  She later served as president of the National Council of Negro Women for 42 years.

Dr. Height's work has been recognized nationally. She was awarded both the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1994, and the Congressional Gold Medal in 2004.

President Barack Obama called Dr. Height "the godmother of the civil rights movement" upon her death in 2010.

Kimberly Foster is the founder and editor of For Harriet. Email or

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