Pioneering Black Feminist Dorothy Pitman Hughes Dies At 84

Dorothy Pitman Hughes, a pioneering Black feminist, and activist died at the age of 84.

She was born Dorothy Jean Ridley on Oct. 2, 1938, in Lumpkin, Georgia. She would become an advocate for child welfare and community matters.

Hughes was involved in the civil rights movement of the 1960s, working alongside figures like Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.


According to NPR, the daughter Delethia Ridley Malmsten stated her mother passed away Dec. 1 in Tampa, Florida, at the home of her and her husband. Her cause of death was old age.

In the 1970s, Hughes established New York City’s first shelter for battered women, as well as a child services agency and a community center.

She was close friends with feminist leader Gloria Steinem. Their photo is one of the most iconic images, as the two standing together with the fist raised, honoring the Black Panther salute.

The two would go on cross-country speaking tours together. She published a memoir in 2000 and was portrayed by Janelle Monaé in the 2020 movie The Glorias.