Category Archives: Civil Rights

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…

Sources:
http://www.ncwriters.org/services/lhof/inductees/pmurray.htm
http://paulimurrayproject.org/pauli-murray/biography/
http://paulimurrayproject.org/pauli-murray/timeline/
http://www.lib.unc.edu/blogs/news/index.php/2010/10/pauli-murray/
http://www.biography.com/articles/Pauli-Murray-214111

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

Dorothy Height, 1912-2010

Learn more about the fascinating life of civil rights pioneer Dorothy Height by reading her memoir, Open Wide the Freedom Gates. A copy of the book is available in the Stone Center Library.

Several books by Height are available in electronic format via the library catalog. Search for “Height, Dorothy” in the catalog to bring up the results.

An obituary can be found online at the New York Times web site.

New Resource: James Meredith, J. Edgar Hoover, and the Integration of the University of Mississippi

This collection documents James Meredith’s attempt to integrate the then all-white University of Mississippi in fall 1962 and the immediate aftermath. Mississippi’s refusal to allow Meredith to register led to a showdown between state and federal authorities and the storming of the campus by a segregationist mob. Two people died and dozens were injured. In the end, Ole Miss, the state of Mississippi, and the nation were forever changed. This database contains extensive FBI documentation on Meredith’s battle to enroll at the University of Mississippi in 1962 and white political and social backlash, including his correspondence with the NAACP and positive and negative letters Meredith received from around the world during his ordeal.

Search this resource.

Collection Highlight – Special Collections, Duke University.

Duke University has posted an online archival collection focusing on African American Women’s History.  If you are interested in slave narratives and slave letters, it is worth a look.

If you are looking for assistance finding primary source documents on African American History, feel free to ask the Stone Center Library Staff.

Unknown Origins of the March on Washington: Civil Rights Politics & the Black Working Class

Presented by the History Department of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Featured Speaker:

Dr. William P. Jones

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Associate Professor, History

About William P. Jones:

Jones is a historian of the 20th century US with a particular interest in race, class and work.

February 17th, 2010

Hitchcock Multipurpose Room

Sonya Haynes Stone Center

7:00 PM

Free & Open to the Public

Reception & Book Signing Following Talk

Sponsored by the Sonja Haynes Stone Center, UNC School of Law, Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs through the Diversity Incentive Fund, and the Johnston Center for Undergraduate Excellence.