SONG IN A WEARY THROAT

Memoir of An American Pilgrimage

Pauli Murray

A prophetic memoir by the activist who “articulated the intellectual foundations” (The New Yorker) of the civil rights and women’s rights movements.

Poet, memoirist, labor organizer, and Episcopal priest, Pauli Murray helped transform the law of the land. Arrested in 1940 for sitting in the whites-only section of a Virginia bus, Murray propelled that life-defining event into a Howard law degree and a fight against “Jane Crow” sexism. Her legal brilliance was pivotal to the overturning of Plessy v. Ferguson, the success of Brown v. Board of Education,

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A prophetic memoir by the activist who “articulated the intellectual foundations” (The New Yorker) of the civil rights and women’s rights movements.

Poet, memoirist, labor organizer, and Episcopal priest, Pauli Murray helped transform the law of the land. Arrested in 1940 for sitting in the whites-only section of a Virginia bus, Murray propelled that life-defining event into a Howard law degree and a fight against “Jane Crow” sexism. Her legal brilliance was pivotal to the overturning of Plessy v. Ferguson, the success of Brown v. Board of Education, and the Supreme Court’s recognition that the equal protection clause applies to women; it also connected her with such progressive leaders as Eleanor Roosevelt, Thurgood Marshall, Betty Friedan, and Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

Now Murray is finally getting long-deserved recognition: the first African American woman to receive a doctorate of law at Yale, her name graces one of the university’s new colleges. Handsomely republished with a new introduction, Murray’s remarkable memoir takes its rightful place among the great civil rights autobiographies of the twentieth century.

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  • W.W. Norton
  • Paperback
  • May 2018
  • 624 Pages
  • 9781631494581

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$22.95

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About Pauli Murray

Pauli Murray (1910–1985) was born in Baltimore and raised in Durham, North Carolina. The first African American woman to receive a doctorate of law at Yale, her name now graces one of Yale University’s new colleges. She is the author of Song in a Weary Throat, her posthumous memoir.

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Praise

“Americans are finally waking up to realize just how visionary Pauli Murray really is. This long-awaited republication of Song in a Weary Throat bears witness to her crowning achievements.”Henry Louis Gates, Jr., host of PBS’s Finding Your Roots and co-editor of The Annotated African American Folktales

“The architect of the legal argument against segregation and a pioneer in the fight against gender discrimination, Murray proved as fearless as she was brilliant. The intensity and urgency of her resolve light up every page of this gripping memoir, a chronicle of the life of an eminent American who made great changes come a great deal faster.”Jill Lepore, author of The Secret History of Wonder Woman and Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin

“Pauli Murray’s lyrical autobiography eloquently chronicles the decades-long African American freedom struggle. A one-woman civil rights movement…Reading her autobiography will restore your faith in the audacity of hope.”Glenda Elizabeth Gilmore, author of Defying Dixie: The Radical Roots of Civil Rights, 1919-1950