Nonviolent, She Made a Difference

Dorothy Cotton (January 5, 1930–June 10, 2018) was born at the beginning of the depression. No one could have predicted the woman she became. Nonviolent, she made a difference in the U.S. civil rights movement and in the world. Early Life Dorothy Lee Forman knew at an early age that she didn’t belong. She was an alien in time and place, destined to leave her hometown of Goldsboro, North Carolina. She speaks of the fighting and horrible things that happened in her neighborhood. But is unable to articulate exactly why she felt alien. Her mother died when she was three years old.  Her father did the best he could to raise his three girls, but she remembers him as a harsh disciplinarian. She also remembers a pivotal event in her childhood. She was about ten years old when a white boy rode his bicycle down her unpaved street, kicking up dust and singing (to the tune of Deep in the Heart of Texas) “deep down in the heart of niggertown.” It made her angry, an anger she felt long into adulthood. She says it gave her “a consciousness about the wrongness of the system.” A Mentor Her next pivotal encounter was […]