A prophetic memoir by the activist who “articulated the intellectual foundations” (The New Yorker) of the civil rights and women’s rights movements. First published posthumously in 1987, Pauli Murray’s Song in a Weary Throat was critically lauded, winning the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award and the Lillian Smith Book Award among other distinctions. Yet Murray’s name and extraordinary influence receded from view in the intervening years; now they are once again entering the public discourse. At last, with the republication of this “beautifully crafted” memoir, Song in a Weary Throat takes its rightful place among the great civil rights autobiographies of the twentieth century. In a voice that is energetic, wry, and direct, Murray tells of a childhood dramatically altered by the sudden loss of her spirited, hard-working parents. Orphaned at age four, she was sent from Baltimore to segregated Durham, North Carolina, to live with her unflappable Aunt Pauline, who, while strict, was liberal-minded in accepting the tomboy Pauli as “my little boy-girl.” In fact, throughout her life, Murray would struggle with feelings of sexual “in-betweenness”—she tried unsuccessfully to get her doctors to give her testosterone—that today we would recognize as a transgendered identity. We then follow Murray north at the age of seventeen to New York City’s Hunter College, to her embrace of Gandhi’s Satyagraha—nonviolent resistance—and south again, where she experienced Jim Crow firsthand. An early Freedom Rider, she was arrested in 1940, fifteen years before Rosa Parks’ disobedience, for sitting in the whites-only section of a Virginia bus. Murray’s activism led to relationships with Thurgood Marshall and Eleanor Roosevelt—who respectfully referred to Murray as a “firebrand”—and propelled her to a Howard University law degree and a lifelong fight against "Jane Crow" sexism. We also read Betty Friedan’s enthusiastic response to Murray’s call for an NAACP for Women—the origins of NOW. Murray sets these thrilling high-water marks against the backdrop of uncertain finances, chronic fatigue, and tragic losses both private and public, as Patricia Bell-Scott’s engaging introduction brings to life. Now, more than thirty years after her death in 1985, Murray—poet, memoirist, lawyer, activist, and Episcopal priest—gains long-deserved recognition through a rediscovered memoir that serves as a “powerful witness” (Brittney Cooper) to a pivotal era in the American twentieth century.
Author: Sarah Azaransky
Publisher: OUP USA
Release Date: 2011-04-01
Genre: Political Science
An introduction to Pauli Murray - poet, lawyer, trailblazing civil rights and feminist activist, and priest - as a significant twentieth century African American intellectual who grounded her calls for democratic transformation in Christian concepts of reconciliation and the coming kingdom.
"Euro-African-American activist Pauli Murray was a feminist lawyer who played pivotal roles in both the modern civil rights and women's movements, and later become the first woman ordained a priest by the Episcopal Church. Born in 1910 and identified as female, she believed from childhood that she was male. Jane Crow is her definitive biography, exploring how she engaged the arguments used to challenge race discrimination to battle gender discrimination in the 1960s and 70s. Before there was a social movement to support transgender identity, she mounted attacks on all arbitrary categories of distinction. In the 1950s, her legal scholarship helped Thurgood Marshall to shift his course and attack segregation frontally in Brown v. Board of Education. In the 1960s, Murray persuaded Betty Friedan to help her found an NAACP for women, which Friedan named NOW. Appointed by Eleanor Rossevelt to the President's Commission on the Status of Women in 1962, she advanced the idea of Jane Crow, arguing that the same reasons used to attack race discriminatio n could be used to battle gender discrimination. In the early 1970s, Murray provided Ruth Bader Ginsberg with the argument Ginsberg used to persuade the Supreme Court that the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution protects not only blacks but also women--and potentially other minority groups--from discrimination. helping to propel Ruth Bader Ginsberg to her first Supreme Court victory for women's rights and greatly expanding the idea of equality in the process. Murray accomplished all of this as someone who would today be identified as transgender but who, due to the limitations of her time, focused her attention on dismantling systematic injustices of all sorts, transforming the idea of what equality means"--
"In 1938, the twenty-eight-year-old Pauli Murray wrote a letter to the president and first lady, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, protesting racial segregation in the South. Eleanor wrote back. So began a friendship that would last for a quarter-century, as Pauli became a lawyer, a principal strategist in the fight to protect Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and a cofounder of the National Organization for Women, and Eleanor became a diplomat and first chair of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. Two decades in the making, and drawing on letters, journals, diaries, and interviews, this monumental work shows how the relationship between a writer-turned-activist and the first lady not only had a profound effect on each of their lives, but also impacted the struggle for social justice."--Page 4 of cover.
Author: Gardiner H. Shattuck, Jr.
Publisher: Church Publishing, Inc.
Release Date: 2005-08-01
The story of Episcopalians in America is the story of an influential denomination that has furnished a large share of the American political and cultural leadership. Beginning with the Episcopal Church's roots in sixteenth-century England, The Episcopalians offers a fresh account of its rise to prominence. Chronologically arranged, it traces the establishment of colonial Anglicanism in the New World through the birth of the Episcopal Church after the Revolution and its rise throughout the nineteenth century, ending with the complex array of forces that helped shape it in the 20th century and the consecration of Gene Robinson in 2003. The authors focus not only on the established leadership of the church but also to the experience of lay people, the form and function of sacred space, the evolution of church parties and theology, relations with other Christian communities, and the evolving ministries of women and minorities.
Author: Ada Calhoun
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Release Date: 2015-11-02
Genre: Social Science
A vibrant narrative history of three hallowed Manhattan blocks—the epicenter of American cool. St. Marks Place in New York City has spawned countless artistic and political movements. Here Frank O’Hara caroused, Emma Goldman plotted, and the Velvet Underground wailed. But every generation of miscreant denizens believes that their era, and no other, marked the street’s apex. This idiosyncratic work of reportage tells the many layered history of the street—from its beginnings as Colonial Dutch Director-General Peter Stuyvesant’s pear orchard to today’s hipster playground—organized around those pivotal moments when critics declared “St. Marks is dead.” In a narrative enriched by hundreds of interviews and dozens of rare images, St. Marks native Ada Calhoun profiles iconic characters from W. H. Auden to Abbie Hoffman, from Keith Haring to the Beastie Boys, among many others. She argues that St. Marks has variously been an elite address, an immigrants’ haven, a mafia warzone, a hippie paradise, and a backdrop to the film Kids—but it has always been a place that outsiders call home. This idiosyncratic work offers a bold new perspective on gentrification, urban nostalgia, and the evolution of a community.
Author: Michele Gillespie
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
Release Date: 2015-07-01
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
By the twentieth century, North Carolina's progressive streak had strengthened, thanks in large part to a growing number of women who engaged in and influenced state and national policies and politics. These women included Gertrude Weil who fought tirelessly for the Nineteenth Amendment, which extended suffrage to women, and founded the state chapter of the League of Women Voters once the amendment was ratified in 1920. Gladys Avery Tillett, an ardent Democrat and supporter of Roosevelt's New Deal, became a major presence in her party at both the state and national levels. Guion Griffis Johnson turned to volunteer work in the postwar years, becoming one of the state's most prominent female civic leaders. Through her excellent education, keen legal mind, and family prominence, Susie Sharp in 1949 became the first woman judge in North Carolina and in 1974 the first woman in the nation to be elected and serve as chief justice of a state supreme court. Throughout her life, the Reverend Dr. Anna Pauline "Pauli" Murray charted a religious, literary, and political path to racial reconciliation on both a national stage and in North Carolina. This is the second of two volumes that together explore the diverse and changing patterns of North Carolina women's lives. The essays in this volume cover the period beginning with women born in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries but who made their greatest contributions to the social, political, cultural, legal, and economic life of the state during the late progressive era through the late twentieth century. Contributors: Jane Becker on Lucy Morgan; Eileen Boris on Ellen Black Winston; Heather Bryson on Ella Josephine Baker; Ann Short Chirhart on Charlotte Hawkins Brown; M. Anna Fariello on Olive Dame Campbell; Joey Fink on Crystal Lee Sutton; Rebecca Godwin on North Carolina Women Writers; Anna Ragland Hayes on Susie Marshall Sharp; Amy Hill Hearth on the Delany Sisters; Lu Ann Jones on North Carolina's Farm Women; Sally G. McMillen on Gladys Avery Tillett; Elizabeth Gillespie McRae on Nell Battle Lewis; Sarah C. Thuesen on Guion Griffis Johnson; Melissa Walker on Margaret Jarman Hagood; Jessica Wilkerson on Ella May Wiggins; Emily Herring Wilson on Gertrude Weil; Lauren F. Winner on Pauli Murray.
Author: Ayesha K. Hardison
Publisher: University of Virginia Press
Release Date: 2014-05-13
Genre: Literary Criticism
In Writing through Jane Crow, Ayesha Hardison examines African American literature and its representation of black women during the pivotal but frequently overlooked decades of the 1940s and 1950s. At the height of Jim Crow racial segregation—a time of transition between the Harlem Renaissance and the Black Arts movement and between World War II and the modern civil rights movement—black writers also addressed the effects of "Jane Crow," the interconnected racial, gender, and sexual oppression that black women experienced. Hardison maps the contours of this literary moment with the understudied works of well-known writers like Gwendolyn Brooks, Zora Neale Hurston, Ann Petry, and Richard Wright as well as the writings of neglected figures like Curtis Lucas, Pauli Murray, and Era Bell Thompson. By shifting her focus from the canonical works of male writers who dominated the period, the author recovers the work of black women writers. Hardison shows how their texts anticipated the renaissance of black women’s writing in later decades and initiates new conversations on the representation of women in texts by black male writers. She draws on a rich collection of memoirs, music, etiquette guides, and comics to further reveal the texture and tensions of the era. A 2014 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title
Author: Pauli Murray
Publisher: University of Georgia Press
Release Date: 1950
This remarkable, hard-to-find resource is an exhaustive compilation of state laws and local ordinances in effect in 1950 that mandated racial segregation and of pre-Brown-era civil rights legislation. The volume cites legislation from forty-eight states and the District of Columbia, and ordinances of twenty-four major cities across the country. The complete text of each law or ordinance is included, along with occasional notes about its history and the extent to which it was enforced. Other relevant information found in the volume ranges widely: the texts of various Supreme Court rulings; international documents; federal government executive orders, departmental rules, regulations, and directives; legislation related to aliens and Native Americans; and more. In his introduction Davison M. Douglas comments on the legislation compiled in the book and its relevance to scholars today and also provides biographical background on Pauli Murray, the attorney who was the volume's original editor.
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