Strangers to Us All Lawyers and Poetry

Pauli Murray

Maryland, North Carolina

Library of Congress

Pauli Murray was born in Baltimore, Maryland and educated in segregated Baltimore public schools. Murray graduated from Hunter College in 1933. In 1938 she attempted to gain admission into the University of North Carolina law school but was denied admission because of her race. Murray later entered Howard University Law School and graduated in 1944. She sought admission to Harvard University to obtained an advanced law degree but was denied admission because she was a woman. She then studied at the University of California, Berkeley where she received her Masters of Law degree in 1945. In 1965 she was awarded a J.S.D. (a law doctorate) from Yale, the first African-American to be awarded the degree, based on a dissertation entitled, "Roots of the Racial Crisis: Prologue to Policy." Murray was an early and committed civil rights activist and wrote one of the early law review articles on sex-discrimination. Murray, along with Betty Friedan, was a founding member of NOW. At the age of sixty-two, Murray entered the seminary and became, in 1977, the first Black female priest ordained by the Episcopal Church.

Pauli Murray (1910-1985)

Pauli Murray

Pauli Murray--Timeline

The Legendary Feminists: Pauli Murray

Anna (Pauli) Murray

The American Heartbreak: A Biographical Sketch of Pauli Murray

Fighting Jane Crow


Pauli Murray, Dark Testament and Other Poems (Norwalk, Connecticut: Silvermine, 1970)


Pauli Murray, Pauli Murray: The Autobiography of a Black Activist, Feminist, Lawyer, Priest and Poet (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1989)

__________, Song in a Weary Throat: An American Pilgrimage (New York: Harper and Row, 1987)

__________, Proud Shoes: The Story of an American Family (Boston: Beacon Press, 1999)(1956)

__________, Pauli Murray: Selected Sermons and Writings (Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books, 2006)


Sarah Azaransky, The Dream Is Freedom: Pauli Murray and American Democratic Faith (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011)

Elaine Sue Caldbeck, A Religious Life of Pauli Murray: Hope and Struggle, Ph.D. dissertation, Northwestern University, 2000.

Elly Haney, Pauli Murray: Acting and Remembering, 4 (2) Journal Feminist Studies in Religion (1988)

Suzanne R. Hiatt, Pauli Murray: May Her Song Be Heard at Last, 4 (2) Journal Feminist Studies in Religion (1988)

Jean M. Humez, Pauli Murray's Histories of Loyalty and Revolt, 24 (2) Black American Literature Forum 315-335 (1990)(20th-Century Autobiography). (Summer, 1990)

Isobel V. Morin, Women Who Reformed Politics (Minneapolis: Oliver Press, 1994)

Darlene O'Dell, Sitesof Southern Memory: The Autobiographies of Katharine du Pre Lumpkin, Lillian Smith, and Pauli Murray (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 2001)

Leila J. Rupp & Verta Taylor, Pauli Murray: The Unasked Question, 14 (2) Journal of Women's History 83-87 (2002


Research Resources

Pauli Murray Papers
Harvard University Library
Cambridge, Massachusetts