Well wishes from across the country continue to pour in for civil rights legend Dorothy Height, who remains hospitalized at Howard University Hospital after being admitted two weeks ago.
More detailed information about Height, president emerita of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), who recently turned 98, was not immediately available. But, according to a hospital spokesman, her condition remained serious but stable at AFRO press time.
“She has an excellent medical team people concerned about her have been very respectful,” said Thelma Daley, an NCNW executive board member. “They’re sending e-mails saying, ‘We’re praying’ rather than bombarding us with calls.”
Height’s friend and personal confidante Alexis Herman, who served as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton, added in an update posted on the NCNW Web site that her prognosis remains hopeful.
“She is under excellent care…and we remain very optimistic in regards to her recovery,” said Herman. “Because of the need for complete rest she is not receiving any visitors at this time. We are very grateful for the prayers and words of encouragement that she continues to receive from around the nation.”
Meanwhile, Doyle Mitchell, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Industrial Bank, said the civil rights icon is being held in the highest esteem among city residents.
“She’s one of the greatest leaders we have today,” Mitchell said. “Her championing of causes for women has been just fantastic and we wish her well.”
According to Height’s biography on the NCNW Web site, the Richmond, Va., native has been active in civil rights issues for more than a half century, first dating to 1933 during the New Deal era. At that time her worked in advocacy began to unfold, as she endeavored to prevent lynching, desegregate the armed forces, reform the criminal justice system and equalize access to public accommodations.
In addition to being awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 2004 – the highest civilian and most distinguished award presented by the United States Congress – from President George Bush on her 92nd birthday, Height has been the recipient of 36 honorary doctoral degrees from colleges and universities that include Tuskegee University, Spelman College, and Meharry Medical College.
She was recently among key African-American leaders slated to meet at the White House with President Barack Obama for a summit on race and the economy.
George Boyd, president of the Mount Olivet Heights Citizens Association in Northeast Washington, told the AFRO that his community is praying for Height.
“She’s been one of the best leaders for Black people ever,” Boyd said. “She’s always done a wonderful job for the Civil Rights Movement and I know this community prays for her and wishes her the best as she moves toward recovery.”