“Bravo! I was so moved by the play. The acting, the props, the pacing all were superb, and what really bound them all together of course, and made them shine gloriously, were the words! Thank you so much for this extraordinary play — what an achievement. You really made me see and understand the struggles and passions of this most incredible woman.”
Her grandmother was a slave, baptized at Chapel of the Cross on Franklin Street. Her great-grandfather was a lawyer, son of a UNC trustee. She was denied admission to the University on the grounds of race and denied admission to the priesthood on the grounds of gender.
Fifteen years before Rosa Parks refused to stand, Pauli Murray refused to sit in the back of a bus and 20 years before the Greensboro sit-ins, she organized restaurant sit-downs in Washington, DC. She won a Fellowship to Harvard Law but was rejected when they discovered “Pauli” was a woman. Historian, attorney, poet, activist, teacher, consultant to Presidents and life-long friend of Eleanor Roosevelt, Pauli Murray was the first African-American awarded a law doctorate from Yale, the co-founder of the National Organization for Women (NOW), and the first African-American woman to be ordained an Episcopal priest. Thurgood Marshall called her writings “the Bible for civil rights lawyers.”
Decades ahead of her time, Durham native Pauli Murray not only lived on the edge of history, she seemingly “pulled it along with her.” One hundred twenty-three years after her mixed-race, enslaved grandmother was baptized at Chapel of the Cross, Pauli Murray returned to celebrate her first Eucharist there.
Celebrate her history; create our future. Join us as we commemorate the 100th anniversary of Pauli Murray’s birth and explore the challenges her life offers us now.
Playwright Lynden Harris, the actors, and production staff from To Buy the Sun and the Pauli Murray Project talk with Frank Stasio on “The State of Things.”
Listen to Leoneda Inge’s story “Pauli Murray: Before Her Time” on WUNC, featuring To Buy the Sun.
Barbara Lau appeared on “Office Hours” to share Pauli Murray’s significance and announce the new play, To Buy the Sun, a collaborative project with Hidden Voices.