Pauli Murray was arrested for protesting bus segregation before Rosa Parks and led lunch counter sit-ins in the 1940s. She wrote legal arguments that inspired Thurgood Marshall and persuaded Betty Friedan to found the National Organization for Women.
In 1977, Murray reached another milestone when she became the first African-American woman ordained as an Episcopal priest.
In the three decades since her death, Murray has faded from the public imagination. But there has been a flurry of recent notice that has brought her to the attention of a new generation, especially in North Carolina, where she grew up.
Faith & Leadership editor Sally Hicks speaks in this 6-minute audio piece with Thomas RaShad Easley, a pastor, educator and hip hop artist who has found inspiration in Murray’s life and work.
Learn more about Pauli Murray
- ‘A Conversation with Pauli Murray,’ by RaShad
- Interview with Pauli Murray, Southern Oral History Program Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- ‘The Many Lives of Pauli Murray,’ The New Yorker
- Pauli Murray Collection, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University
- Pauli Murray Project, Duke Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute, Duke University