Explorations in Black Leadership

Co-Directed by Phyllis Leffler & Julian Bond

Murray, Pauli (1910–1985)

Murray was a civil rights activist and feminist who defied and broke racial and gender boundaries throughout her career. Arrested in 1940 for refusing to sit in the back of a bus, she joined CORE while attending Howard University and in 1943 published essays including Negroes Are Fed Up in Common Sense and her famous poem Dark Testament. Awarded a Rosenwald Fellowship at Harvard Law, she was denied admission because of her gender, and instead attained a J.D. from the University of California Berkeley in 1945. She developed legal techniques in States’ Laws on Race and Color (1950) that guided the NAACP’s 1954 Brown arguments. She cofounded the National Organization for Women in 1966 after receiving the first J.S.D. Yale Law gave to an African American. In 2012, she became an Episcopal Saint, 27 years after her death.