The funeral for Dorothy I. Height, a torchbearer of the civil rights movement, will be held at 10 a.m. on April 29 at the Washington National Cathedral, according to former U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexis Herman, who is overseeing the arrangements.
The service for Height, chair and president emerita of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), who died of natural causes at the age of 98 on April 20, will take place following several days celebrating her contributions to social and civil rights around the globe. Burial services will follow the service at Fort Lincoln Cemetery in Brentwood, Md.
Height, who was known for her spectacular hats, was one of the few women to serve at the front lines of many major civil rights events, including helping Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. plan the epochal March on Washington.
Throughout her lifetime, she worked to empower women to stand up and speak out for themselves. She fought even as she herself endured racism in its rawest form. In one of her last public speaking engagements this year during Black History Month at the DuSable Museum of African-American History in Chicago, Height said she never thought she would live to see the nation elect a black president.
Besides the NCNW, she served as national president of Delta Sigma Theta sorority. She also spent much of her life as a member of the Young Women's Christian Association's (YWCA) National Board. She received her master's and bachelor's degrees from New York University. She had planned to attend Barnard College but was turned away after the school had reached its quota of two blacks. Over time, she received 36 honorary degrees.
The following is a list of service events:
Tuesday, April 27
6:00 - 10:00 p.m. —- Dr. Height will lie in repose at the Dorothy I. Height building for a public viewing.
Wednesday, April 28
2:00 p.m. — The Delta Sigma Theta Sorority will conduct a public Omega Omega Service at Howard University. Dr. Height served as national president of the sorority in 1947.
7:00 p.m. — A "Community Celebration of Life" memorial service will be held at Shiloh Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. The memorial is open to the public.
Lynette Holloway is a Chicago-based writer. She is a former New York Times reporter and associate editor for Ebony magazine.