Postage stamp honors ‘godmother of civil rights’

Dorothy Height next to her portrait (© AP Images)
Dorothy Height beside her portrait in 1997, when she stepped down as president of the National Council of Negro Women after 40 years. (© AP Images)

The U.S. Postal Service kicked off African American History Month by honoring Dorothy Height, whose work in education and on behalf of African Americans and women spanned seven decades.

Dorothy Height postage stamp (U.S. Postal Service)

Height served as president of the National Council of Negro Women from 1957 until 1997. During that time, she worked with Martin Luther King Jr. to organize the 1963 March on Washington, counseled presidents, and co-founded the National Women’s Political Caucus.

The stamp “will serve as a lasting tribute to her life and legacy of seeking equality and justice for all Americans, regardless of ethnicity, gender or race,” said Ronald Stroman, deputy postmaster general.

Height received both the Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the two highest civilian honors in the U.S.

After her death in 2010, President Obama honored her as “the godmother of the civil rights movement and a hero to so many Americans.”

“She was insistent and persistent,” fellow civil rights activist Representative John Lewis told NBC News. “She stood for the timeless values that make this country great: equality, justice and liberty.”