Monthly Archives: October 2010

WEDNESDAY: “Pauli Murray v. UNC: Wrestling with Change in the Jim Crow South”

As part of the Pauli Murray Centennial Celebration initiated by Duke University’s Human Rights Center, UNC will be hosting the panel discussion “Pauli Murray v. UNC: Wrestling with Change in the Jim Crow South”, which highlights Murray’s attempts to gain admittance for graduate work at UNC in 1938-39.  This is an event that aims “to teach the university community about this history and to encourage reflection on the story of Murray’s activism: what kind of example does she offer in our own time?”

Event Information:

Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2010
5:15 p.m. reception | 6 p.m. program

Wilson Special Collections Library, Pleasants Family Assembly Room


Contact Information: Center for the Study of the American South, (919) 962-4433

Genna Rae McNeil, professor of history at UNC-Chapel Hill, will moderate the panel discussion, which includes the following participants:

The event will also feature a small exhibit of archival materials from the Southern Historical Collection in UNC’s Wilson Special Collections Library highlighting this historical moment.

Sponsored by UNC’s Center for the Study of the American South, the Southern Historical Collection, The Pauli Murray Project/Duke Human Rights Center, the Carolina Women’s Center, the UNC School of Information and Library Science (grad student assistance), and the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History at UNC (organizational and in-kind assistance).

Interested in learning more about the panelists?  Check out some of their books available at UNC libraries:

Hope to see you there!

The Pauli Murray Project

The Pauli Murray Project is based in nearby Durham, NC and is run by Duke University’s Human Rights Center. Their mission is “to build stronger ties between our Durham, North Carolina communities through dialogue, education, storytelling and the creation of new ways of telling our unique history. In this work we honor the legacy and values of one of Durham’s unsung heroes, lawyer, activist, poet and priest, Pauli Murray”. The project’s website contains a wealth of information on Murray: a detailed biography, timeline, a bibliography of her writings, and useful listing of works about her. Or click here for a 1 minute video summarizing the project.

The Pauli Murray project is particularly interested in community input and collaboration, including their 2007-09 series “Face Up: Telling Stories of Community”. There are plenty of ways to get involved – sign up for their email list or contact them about volunteer opportunities. You can also follow the Project on Facebook.

In addition to next week’s event at UNC’s Wilson Library, the Pauli Murray Project will be hosting several commemorative events throughout the month of November and beyond. Check out the Pauli Murray Centennial Celebration events calendar here for further information.

Just who was Pauli Murray?

Born in 1910, Anna Pauline (“Pauli”) Murray was raised in Durham, NC and became a trailblazing participant in the civil rights and women’s rights movements. Murray was a woman of many talents and passions: an activist, an educator, a lawyer, a poet, and – at age 67 – the first female African American Episcopal priest. She was valedictorian of her high school class, and went on to earn degrees from Hunter College, Howard Law School, UC Berkeley (LLM), and Yale (JSD & MDiv). Murray was a founding member of NOW (National Organization for Women) and in 1947 Mademoiselle magazine named her “Woman of the Year.”

Murray’s distinguished career came about despite numerous obstacles due to her race and gender. As an African American, she was refused entry to UNC’s School of Law. As a woman, graduating first in her class at Howard earned her a Rosenwald Fellowship to attend Harvard for graduate studies in law, but Harvard reneged on this honor because of her gender. These are but early examples of the kinds of discrimination Murray would encounter over the course of her illustrious career as a legal scholar, activist, and religious leader.

November 20th marks the centennial of Pauli Murray’s birth, and Duke University’s Human Rights Center has planned a host of events in collaboration with area institutions, including UNC. The first of these events will take place next week at Wilson Library.

In the meantime, if you’re interested in learning more about Pauli Murray…


Fall Break Hours

Due to fall break this week, the Stone Center Library will be open as follows:

Monday, Oct. 18: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 19 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 20: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 21: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 22: 8 a.m. – 5 p.m

We will be back to our regular hours on Monday the 25th. Hope you all have a restful break!

Thursday, Oct. 14: Sonja Haynes Stone Memorial Lecture

Political commentator, author and professor Melissa Harris-Lacewell will discuss “Race, Politics and the Age of Obama.”

October 14, 2010
Hitchcock Multipurpose Room
Free & open to the public
For more information, please contact:, (919) 962-9001

Harris-Lacewell’s book, Barbershops, Bibles, and BET: Everyday Talk and Black Political Thought (Princeton 2004), won a 2005 American Political Science Association Best Book Award and the 2005 National Conference of Black Political Scientists W.E.B. Du Bois Book Award. She is currently writing her next book, Sister Citizen: A Text For Colored Girls Who’ve Considered Politics When Being Strong Wasn’t Enough (Yale University Press).

As an Associate Professor of Politics and African American Studies at Princeton, Harris-Lacewell’s research focuses on the challenges facing contemporary black Americans and better understanding the creative ways that African-Americans respond to these challenges.

She is a regular contributor to MSNBC, providing commentary on U.S. elections, racial issues, religious questions and gender concerns for The Rachel Maddow Show and Countdown with Keith Olbermann, among other programs. She also writes a monthly column, “Sister Citizen,” for The Nation.

Thursday, Oct. 14: UNC’s African and African American Studies Department: The Beginning of a Revolution

October 14, 2010
3:30-5:30 (reception to follow)
Kresge Common Room, Graham Memorial

How did African and African American Studies begin at UNC?

To answer this question, the Department of African and Afro American Studies has invited back to campus a panel of some of the student activists and faculty who worked to establish the program over 40 years ago.


Evelyn A. Davis
Phi Beta Kappa graduate of UNC (1972), now a professor of law at the University of California, Davis.

Abdullah Salim Jr. (formerly Reginald Hawkins)
Graduate of UNC (1970), co-founder of the Black Student Movement, now an attorney in Maryland.

Townsend Ludington
Boshamer Professor of English and American Studies (retired) who presented the original proposal for a program to the Faculty Council.

Perry A. Hall
Author of In the Vineyard: Working in African American Studies, and a member of the African American Studies department.

Sponsored by:
Department of African and African American Studies
The Institute for African American Research
Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History

Thursday, Oct. 14: “The Race Beat: History and Legacy” panel

The UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication will host a panel discussion Oct. 14 with acclaimed reporters and editors who covered the American civil rights movement. “The Race Beat: History and Legacy” – part of the Nelson Benton Lecture Series at the school – will be held in the Carroll Hall auditorium Oct. 14 at 5:30 p.m. It is free and open to the public.

The event features the co-authors of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book “The Race Beat,” Hank Klibanoff and Gene Roberts. Klibanoff, former managing editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and former deputy managing editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer, will moderate the panel. Roberts, former editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer and former managing editor of The New York Times, will be a panelist.

The other panelists are Hodding Carter, UNC professor of public policy and former editor of the Delta Democrat Times (Greenville, Miss.); Joe Cumming, former Atlanta bureau chief for Newsweek; and Moses J. Newson, former executive editor of the Baltimore Afro-American and former reporter at the Tri-State Defender in Memphis, Tenn.

For more details about this event, please see the School of Journalism and Mass Communication website.

Interested in learning more about the book?
check it out!
– see the New York Time’s book review
listen to NPR’s conversation with co-author Klibanoff