She has been identified as one of the most pivotal figures in 20th century African-American civil rights history. Within every community there are those who refuse to conform to standards imposed on them. Bith Date: November 20, 1910. She also took a job with the National Urban League selling subscriptions to their academic journal, but poor health forced her to resign and was encouraged by her doctor to move to a healthier environment. Betty Friedan scribbled the organization’s purpose on a paper napkin while sitting next to Pauli Murray, who stated “Three months later…thirty-two of us set up the permanent organization of NOW, never dreaming that within less than two decades it would have more than 200,000 members and become a potent force in American politics.” Friedan became NOW’s first president, but Murray stayed in the background writing organizational documents that represented her view of NOW as the NAACP for women. Pauli Murray was a civil rights activist, a pioneering feminist, a labor organizer, a lawyer, an Episcopal priest, and a writer of nonfiction, memoir, and poetry. She moved in with a cousin's family in Queens and attended Richmond Hill High School to prepare for the Regent's Exam that would allow her to enter Hunter. Some of the women on the commission wanted to push for the adoption of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the Constitution (first written and proposed in 1923), but Murray firmly believed, as with race, that the Constitution---particularly the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments already guaranteed women the rights and protections they needed. Prior to Reed v. Reed, in the 1960’s Murray began to argue that the Equal Protection Clause should be applied in cases alleging sex discrimination like the Equal Protection Clause was applied in cases of race discrimination. Pauli Murray and Caroline Ware: Forty Years of Letters in Black and White (Gender and American Culture) Part of: Gender and American Culture (78 Books) | by Anne Firor Scott | Oct 30, 2006. Song in a Weary Throat: An American Pilgrimage, by Pauli Murray, Harper & Row, Amazon.com, https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Song+in+a+Weary+Throat, “Black, queer, feminist, erased from history: Meet the most important legal scholar you’ve likely never heard of – Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the Supreme Court’s liberal hero, but her work sits on the should of Dr. Pauli Murray”, by Brittney Cooper, Feb. 2015, http://www.salon.com/2015/02/18/black_queer_feminist_erased_from_history_meet_the_most_important_legal_scholar_youve_likely_never_heard_of/, The Firebrand and the First Lady – Portrait of a Friendship, Pauli Murray, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Struggle for Social Justice, by Patricia Bell-Scott (Alfred A. Knopf/Penguin, Random House, 2016) (A Non-Fiction Finalist (Long List), 2016 National Book Awards), Papers of Pauli Murray, 1827 – 1985, A Finding Aid, Schlesinger Library, http://oasis.lib.harvard.edu/oasis/deliver/~sch00067, A Heroine In Everyday Life: Pauli Murray’s Legal Education, by Jeffrey D. Gonda, https://www.radcliffe.harvard.edu/schlesinger-library/blog/heroine-in-everyday-life-pauli-murrays-legal-education, Pauli Murray, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pauli_Murray, Feminist Chronicles – 1966, the Founding of NOW, http://www.feminist.org/research/chronicles/fc1966.html, Defying Dixie: The Radical Roots of Civil Rights, 1919-1950, by Glenda Gilmore, (Norton, 2008), When and Where I Enter: The Impact of Black Women on Race and Sex in America, by Paula Giddings (William Morrow Paperbacks, 2007), Pauli Murray Project, http://paulimurrayproject.org/. She served as a priest for eight years. Murray became so immersed in her research for the book that for months after retracing the legendary routes of the Underground Railroad, she found herself dating correspondence 1854 instead of 1954. Well-known black leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Thurgood Marshall, and Mary McLeod Bethune are just a few of the giants you may have already heard of, but Durhamite Dr. Pauli Murray also deserves a spot on that list. "Respect, Contempt, and Individuality," Nancy Huntting, http://www.nancyhuntting.net/PMurray-Sem1.html (February 3, 2003).
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