November 20 - Happy Birthday, Pauli Murray

Posted on November 20, 2018

There aren't enough days in the year to talk about all the amazing black women that have contributed their talents and smarts and passion to U.S. history...

...But I still have to try to mention some of them, here and there, because most of us don't know enough of our "black history" nor of our "her-story," let alone our "black her-story"!

Pauli Murray - born in Maryland on this date in 1910 - became the first black American woman to be ordained as an Episcopal priest. That was in 1977, the first year that women could be ordained by that church.

At that point, Murray had already done so so so so much! 

She went to college at age 16.

She ended up getting a Bachelor's Degree in English, plus a  degree AND Master's Degree AND Doctorate in law. She went to such esteemed universities as Howard, U.C. Berkeley, and Yale.

She sat in the "white section" of a bus in Virginia about 15 years before Rosa Parks famously sat in the "white" section. Murray, like Parks more than a decade later, was arrested.

Murray was an activist in the Civil Rights Movement and a civil rights lawyer. She wrote the "bible" of the civil rights movement.

She worked against sexism as well, in court and out. She helped start the National Organization for Women (NOW), and she was appointed by John F. Kennedy to serve on a Presidential Commission on the Status of Women.

She taught or held administrative positions at three different universities / law schools.

She wrote a lot, and she published a lot. In addition to all the writing she did as apart of her work in the law, and the oh-so-important book on civil rights, Murray published two autobiographies and one book of her poetry. 

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