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Women and the Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1965$
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Davis W. Houck and David E. Dixon

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9781604731071

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781604731071.001.0001

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Pauli Murray

Pauli Murray

November 14, 1963, National Council of Negro Women, Leadership Conference, Washington, D.C.

(p.228) Pauli Murray
Women and the Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1965

Davis W. Houck

David E. Dixon

University Press of Mississippi

A lifelong civil rights activist, Anna Pauline Murray’s Odyssean journey began on November 20, 1910, in Baltimore, Maryland. Murray was adopted and raised by her aunt in Durham, North Carolina. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Hunter College in 1933, one of four African American women to graduate in a class of 247. When she attempted to take up graduate studies at the University of North Carolina, her application was denied and the NAACP would not take up her case. She also applied for Harvard’s master of laws program, but she was not accepted because she was a woman. On November 14, 1963, Murray spoke at the National Council of Negro Women’s Leadership Conference held in Washington D.C. This chapter includes Murray’s speech, in which she talked about the burden carried by African American women and cited Gunnar Myrdal’s account of the myth of female contentment with disenfranchisement. She also analyzed how the plight of the African American and American families is reinforced by race, gender, and educational distributions.

Keywords:   speech, civil rights, Anna Pauline Murray, Baltimore, African American women, NAACP, National Council of Negro Women, disenfranchisement, race, gender

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