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Women and the Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1965$
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Davis W. Houck and David E. Dixon

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9781604731071

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781604731071.001.0001

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Dorothy Height

Dorothy Height

October 5, 1963, First Baptist Church, Selma, Alabama

(p.220) Dorothy Height
Women and the Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1965

Davis W. Houck

David E. Dixon

University Press of Mississippi

Born on March 24, 1912, in Richmond, Virginia, Dorothy Irene Height attended public schools in Rankin, Pennsylvania. Known for her oratorical skills, Height led the United Christian Youth Movement, an organization that actively opposed the practice of lynching, segregation in the armed forces, unfair distribution of public accommodations, and excesses in the criminal justice system. She was appointed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to a committee formed to address the fallout of the Harlem riots of 1935 and met Mary McLeod Bethune, who would exert a considerable influence on Height’s career in the coming years, in 1937. On October 5, 1963, Height spoke to a local audience of blacks at the First Baptist Church in Selma, Alabama. This chapter reproduces Height’s speech, in which she accused Selma Sheriff Jim Clark and Alabama Governor George C. Wallace of racism.

Keywords:   speech, Dorothy Irene Height, segregation, blacks, First Baptist Church, Selma, Alabama, Jim Clark, George C. Wallace, racism

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