Hundreds gathered yesterday to pay their respects to civil rights leader Dorothy Height, including president Obama, Maya Angelou, and Nancy Pelosi. But some of the most touching eulogies came from lesser-known figures, and the Washington Post captured them on video:
While a teary and visibly emotional Obama recalls seeing Height at the White House "not once or twice, but 21 times!" and discusses her incredible influence on modern America (she made the "kind of progress that made it possible for me and Michelle to be here as President of the United States and First Lady"), others remember Height as a fun, witty, and hardworking woman who could go from speaking to heads-of-state to talking seriously to a 4-year-old.
"It's interesting if you ever heard her tell the story of why we kept the name the National Council of Negro Women," recalled D.C. teacher Kahlil Kuykendall and member of the NCNW. "And she would say, 'If we change with every fad or every change in the world, we would never have an identity as a people.' It was a tremendous honor as a young woman to work with her, side-by-side, and to learn from her."
"I remember her, in an interview, saying how she was treated by the men. All the men took the credit for the civil rights movement where she was doing a lot of the work, not just the stuffing envelopes work, but the brainpower and the decisions that were made, those sorts of things, a lot of that came from her, in fact a great deal of it did, but she never got credit for it. I think while that hurt her, she wasn't bitter about it," added Loretta Nuemann.
"If you grew up in the civil rights movement, Dorothy raised you," Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), said after the service. "She was the only woman at the top. There were no other girls, no other women. There was only Dorothy."
Video: Hundreds Line Up To Pay Respects At Dorothy Height Funeral [Washington Post]
Washington Honors Memory of Civil Rights Leader Dorothy Height [Washington Post]
Photo Gallery: Final Farewell To Civil Rights Pioneer Dorothy Height [Washington Post]