Pauli Murray @ YLS: 1961-1965

Pauli Murray, Senior Fellow, Yale Law School. Office of Public Affairs, Yale University.  Courtesy of Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library.
September 29, 2017

 There is a new exhibit at the Lillian Goldman Law Library:

Pauli Murray @ YLS: 1961-1965 will be on display in the Reading Room (L3) of the Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School, until December 21, 2017.

Anna Pauline (Pauli) Murray was a lawyer, scholar, professor, poet, author, women’s and civil rights activist, and Episcopal priest. She graduated from Yale Law School with a J.S.D. in 1965, making her the first African American woman to earn that designation. While studying, researching, and teaching during her YLS years, Murray helped plan and organize the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom with Martin Luther King, Jr., A. Phillip Randolph, and Bayard Rustin. Murray also lobbied the executive and legislative branches to include sex as a protected class for purposes of employment discrimination in the Civil Rights Act. Murray was a tireless advocate for marginalized Americans throughout her life.

Using reproductions of her correspondence, writings, pictures, and ephemera, Pauli Murray @ YLS: 1961-1965 highlights Murray’s academic excellence, professional accomplishments, intellect, passions, and advocacy during her time at Yale and beyond. In the main exhibit case are documents and photographs related to her admission to and graduation from Yale Law School. Also represented is her time as an active member of the Civil and Political Rights Committee of Kennedy’s President’s Commission on the Status of Women. On display is her 3-volume, 1,300 page dissertation, Roots of the Racial Crisis: Prologue to Policy.

There are complementary displays on either side of the exhibit case. In the Words of Pauli Murray focuses on Pauli’s own writings on the law, race, class, gender, and her childhood. Words about Pauli Murray presents biographical works on Murray’s life, activism, and impact on society. There is also a 10-minute video interview of Murray by Charles Kuralt in North Carolina for the March 29, 1977 episode of On the Road with Charles Kuralt.

This exhibit is open to the public daily 10:00am – 6:00pm (except holidays), and to the Yale community when the Law Library is open.

Curated by Lisa Goodman, Jordan Jefferson, and Teresa Miguel-Stearns, with assistance from Jason Eiseman, Tom Fitzgerald, Dan Griffin, Lora Johns, and Eric Sonnenberg.

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