The story of one woman who shaped Martin Luther King Jr.'s vision

Dorothy Irene Height was an unmistakable instrumental force in the battle for civil rights, leading the National Council of Negro women for over four decades.
6:29 | 03/02/21

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Transcript for The story of one woman who shaped Martin Luther King Jr.'s vision
Do you know the name Dorothy Irene height. She was a founding mother at the US civil rights movement. Dorsey made cursory working alongside Martin Luther King Jr. as a relentless desegregation activist. I think I was born seven us because I think my life I've been proud to be apparel venture chairwoman. Long before the freeze was coined Dorothy Height was practicing intersection on feminism. She asked women of all races religions and classes to understand one another. And fight against sexism and racism together. This is Dorsey and this is her stirring. In high school don't see one and oratory contest. The prize a four year college scholarship. She was admitted to the prestigious Barnard College. But stunningly she was turned away after arriving at the dean's office in New York City. Varner said it already had enough negro students. I'm quoted just to. Disheartened but not deterred Dorsey went to New York University. Where she was accepted on the spot with her sterling transcript. It seemed door the height was often in the right place at the right time. She had a chance meeting with Martin Luther King Jr. when he was fifteen years old. To say. Here is spent fifty. When that you won't be. It's. SA predicted everything. 68. While working at the Harlem YWCAE. Dougherty met First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. And civil rights legend Mary McLeod the soon on the same Ding. This is the tune urged toward the two joined her organization. We need you at the National Council of Negro Women she said it. The freedom gates or half the jar. We must pry them fully open. Dorsey root cause that moment in her memoir open wide the freedom gates. Variety I have been committed to the calling ever sent. In the 1960s Martin Luther King Jr. enlisted Dorothy to help one major civil rights projects. As the only woman with a regular presence alongside his big six. She shared this thought in her memoir. I was treated as appear there were times when the men disagreed with each other and I could bridge the gap. Dorsey even help plan and monumental 1963. March on Washington. When doctor Keane gave his famous I have a dream speech. I have three. But one days. Bids nation and will brow and thought. Live out the true meaning of its pre. With do repeat Irene height. Right next to him on stage. Old men are created it. But Dorsey knew there was some one missing from that moment. Creatine. Three bath brick and the. There have been appeals to include a woman speaker. You mean and DC beets was the only woman to speak. Every darn happy. And Robert country she had one minute onstage. And I feel like it. But I can't think about what. We don't. I am not the beginning and an economy cannot thank. After the march Dorsey launched the only civil rights program led by national women's organization. It was called Wednesday's in Mississippi. Which brought black and white women from northern cities into Mississippi to integrate civil rights actions during the 1964. Freedom summer. Don't be height never married or had children. She did half a ridge nearly century long career bending the arc of America's story. Toward justice. President Ronald Reagan honored her with the citizen's medal award in 1989. President Bill Clinton gave her presidential medal of freedom in 1994. And Barnard College that institution which turned her away 75 years earlier because of the color for skin. Gave her an honorary degree. Dorothy hides legacy inspiring so many including myself. I had a chance to meet her years ago. Dorothy Height died at the age of 98 in 2010. You never cared about who got the credit. She cared about was the calls and breeders thoughts and may god bless doctor Dorothy Height. And the union. If she made more for.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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