Cotton died June 10 at the Kendal at Ithaca retirement community in New York, said Jared Harrison, a close friend who was at her bedside. Harrison said she had battled illnesses recently but didn’t specify a cause of death.
Dorothy Cotton, SCLC Education Director teaching adult literacy and voting rights during a Citizenship Education Project class in Wilcox County, AL 1966. Adults were trained to train other adults in their communities, to prepare for the first opportunity to vote after the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Photo Credit, Bob Fitch Photo Archive Stanford University Library.
Cotton was among a small number of women in leadership positions at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference during the civil rights era, and she led the Atlanta-based civil rights group’s Citizenship Education Program.
“She had a beautiful voice, and when things got tense, Dorothy was the one who would start up a song to relieve the tension,” said Xernona Clayton, who was King’s office manager in Atlanta and organized protest marches and fundraisers.
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