Paying respect to Dorothy Height

My commute takes me past Washington National Cathedral on Wisconsin Avenue. When I pulled up to the lights just before Mass Avenue this morning, I could tell that traffic was heavier than normal. Crossing Massachusetts, I remembered why: Dorothy Height's funeral is taking place there this morning.

At 7:50, the line of mourners was already down Wisconsin and curling down Mass Ave. But I wouldn't actually call the people waiting mourners; it was clear from the smiles and laughter that today's funeral will be as much a celebration of a truly great life as it will be a time to grieve the loss of this amazing woman.

In truth, I knew little about Dorothy Height before her death made the news. I had heard her name, but knew little about her role in the civil rights movement. Today she is being called the unsung heroine of the civil rights movement, as this New York Times article states, she "was very much the unheralded seventh [member of the civil rights "Big Six"], the leader who was cropped out, figuratively and often literally, of images of the era."

What a towering life!


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