Song in a weary throat Memoir of an American pilgrimage

Pauli Murray, 1910-1985

Book - 2018

"A prophetic memoir by the activist who "articulated the intellectual foundations" (The New Yorker) of the civil rights and women's rights movements. Poet, memoirist, labor organizer, and Episcopal priest, Pauli Murray helped transform the law of the land. Arrested in 1940 for sitting in the whites-only section of a Virginia bus, Murray propelled that life-defining event into a Howard law degree and a fight against "Jane Crow" sexism. Her legal brilliance was pivota...l to the overturning of Plessy v. Ferguson, the success of Brown v. Board of Education, and the Supreme Court's recognition that the equal protection clause applies to women; it also connected her with such progressive leaders as Eleanor Roosevelt, Thurgood Marshall, Betty Friedan, and Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Now Murray is finally getting long-deserved recognition: the first African American woman to receive a doctorate of law at Yale, her name graces one of the university's new colleges. Handsomely republished with a new introduction, Murray's remarkable memoir takes its rightful place among the great civil rights autobiographies of the twentieth century."--Provided by publisher.

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Subjects
Published
New York : Liveright Publishing Corporation, a division of W.W. Norton & Company [2018]
Language
English
Item Description
Includes index.
Physical Description
xviii, 587 pages ; 24 cm
ISBN
9781631494581
1631494589
Main Author
Pauli Murray, 1910-1985 (author)
Other Authors
Patricia Bell-Scott (writer of introduction)
Review by Publisher Summary 1

Featuring a new introduction, a memoir by writer, activist and priest Pauli Murray describes the determination that earned her law degrees from Harvard and Yale, her pivotal roles in such landmark cases as Brown v. Board of Education and her relationships with such progressive leaders as Eleanor Roosevelt, Thurgood Marshall and Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Original.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

"A prophetic memoir by the activist who "articulated the intellectual foundations" (The New Yorker) of the civil rights and women's rights movements. Poet, memoirist, labor organizer, and Episcopal priest, Pauli Murray helped transform the law of the land. Arrested in 1940 for sitting in the whites-only section of a Virginia bus, Murray propelled that life-defining event into a Howard law degree and a fight against "Jane Crow" sexism. Her legal brilliance was pivotal to the overturning of Plessy v. Ferguson, the success of Brown v. Board of Education, and the Supreme Court's recognition that the equal protection clause applies to women; it also connected her with such progressive leaders as Eleanor Roosevelt, Thurgood Marshall, Betty Friedan, and Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Now Murray is finally getting long-deserved recognition: the first African American woman to receive a doctorate of law at Yale, her name graces one of the university's new colleges. Handsomely republished with a new introduction, Murray's remarkable memoir takes its rightful place among the great civil rights autobiographies of the twentieth century."--Provided by publisher.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

The author recounts her childhood, education, career as a lawyer and poet, and involvement in the Civil Rights and Women's movements.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

MY NAME IS PAULI MURRAYThe New Yorker

Review by Publisher Summary 5

Song in a Weary ThroatIn 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.