1985 July 1

Pauli Murray, Civil Rights Pioneer, Feminist, Civil Libertarian, Dies


Pauli Murray was an African-American feminist, lawyer, civil rights activist, civil libertarian, Episcopal priest, and poet. She participated in one of the first sit-ins, challenging segregation in Washington, D.C., on April 17, 1943 and also on April 22, 1943.

Murray’s most notable achievement was an influential paper she wrote for the President’s Commission on the Status of Women, arguing that discrimination against women violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The Commission was established on December 14, 1961, and it issued its report on October 11, 1963.

Murray was a member of the ACLU Board of Directors and, later in life, became an ordained minister in the Episcopal Church.

Read Pauli Murray’s Memoirs: Pauli Murray, Proud Shoes (1956)

Learn more: Patricia Bell-Scott, The Firebrand and the First Lady: Pauli Murray, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Struggle for Racial Justice (2016)

Watch a documentary on Pauli Murray: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBROdwo_le4

Read: Sarah Arazansky, The Dream is Freedom: Pauli Murray and the American Democratic Faith (2011)

Learn more about Pauli Murray: http://www.blackpast.org/aah/murray-pauli-1910-1985

Learn more at the Timeline of Pauli Murray’s life at Duke University: http://paulimurrayproject.org/pauli-murray/timeline/

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