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Pauli Murray: The Autobiography of a Black Activist, Feminist, Lawyer, Priest, and Poet Paperback


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Pauli Murray: The Autobiography of a Black Activist, Feminist, Lawyer, Priest, and Poet + Proud Shoes (Black Women Writers Series)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: The University of Tennessee Press (June 23, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0870495968
  • ISBN-13: 978-0870495960
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #382,339 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Susan Sewell on September 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
An amazing woman and a fine writer, Ms. Murray brings our social history to life by looking at her own. Ms. Murray moved through the century finding new ways to contribute to each phase: from writing in Harlem in the 30's to helping to found N.O.W in the 60's. Denied admission to UNC in her youth because of her race, she said her first mass at a chapel there three decades later. Her intelligence and grasp of social issues is evident in her writing, as is her love of family, her strong faith and her pride in her race. If I am forced to a simple description, I can say this book is like if the Delaney Sisters were social activists. I have given away several copies of this book, as well as her history of her remarkable family. (PROUD SHOES, now back in print so grab it while you can.) The house where she grew up in Durham, N.C. still stands, very near my own home, and her many relatives continue to tell stories about Ms. Murray with pride.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Roy Wilson on October 18, 2007
Format: Paperback
Pauli Murray (1910-1985)is regarded as "one of the least discussed figures in the history of twentieth-century African American women's activism." She was a highly regarded Feminist, who called attention to the plight of women, especially the colored and working poor.

Her gendered perspective led her to become a civil rights activist, and an advocate for underrepresented working people in her capacity as both lawyer and a writer.

"One person plus one typewriter constitutes a movement," she declared as she took up her challenge for the weak and down trodden in our society.

Far sighted enough, She never blamed the poor for their poverty, a fashionable practice in current society.

Murray's parents were educated working people. Her father was a school teacher in Baltimore and her mother a graduate of Hampton training School for Nurses.

It was at Law School where she first became aware of "Jane Crow,"-- a overt form of discrimination against women in society.

First she observed that there were only two female students in her class at the time-- "not more than two or three women" were enrolled, she said.

On the professional faculty, the only woman was the registrar.

"Jane Crow" even expressed itself in class through what she called the "free wheeling classroom style of informal discussion" which "allowed the men's deeper voices to obliterate [her] lighter voice."

Her sex similarly deprived her of membership in her university's well-known legal fraternity.

How would she characterize her general reaction to "Jane Crow"? She was at once disheartened and motivated by her rejection.

This is a great book. I recommend it highly!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By ruthsbb on February 15, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this for a book club and found it very interesting from a substantive point of view. I am a bit surprised that a poet - and she is a published poet - writes in a somewhat 'ordinary' style. Very little beautiful prose here. That said, the life she describes is full and interesting. She provides a good history of race relations from the mid-twenties until the end of her life. Her description of her early life is informative and her life story is compelling. I'd rate it an A+ for content and information and a B for style.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mary J. Bailey on July 24, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
so interesting a history of civil rights activism in the early 20th century. She writes extremely well. She is amazing.
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