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Pauli: RTDNA Podcast Submission

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“This is my country, nobody will rob me of my birthright. I have as much right to speak as an American as anyone else.”

When Pauli Murray offered these words in 1976, she had already put this proclamation into action and shaped the course of history.

As an activist, Murray had challenged interstate segregation on a bus more than a decade before Rosa Parks’ seminal civil disobedience. Meanwhile, as a legal scholar, Murray had written a 700-page tome Thurgood Marshall labeled the “bible” of civil rights law. But Murray’s footprint on America was far from over when she ushered these words in an interview in 1976.

A few years later, she became the first African-American woman ordained as an Episcopalian priest – and would posthumously be elevated to sainthood by the church decades later. Pauli Murray’s legacy stretches from the pavement to the pulpit and beyond, as recognition of her achievement grows by the day.

In the three-part podcast “Pauli” from North Carolina Public Radio, the power of this activist, scholar, poet, priest is exemplified. Host Leoneda Inge delves into myriad ways that Pauli Murray battled injustice as a queer, Black, Southern maverick. Through personal narratives, archival tape, and dynamic storytelling, Inge demonstrates how Pauli Murray’s persistent wisdom and determinant work fighting for equality continues to influence activists, clergy, and lawmakers today. While Murray rarely received the recognition she deserved during her lifetime, “Pauli” validates why the social justice warrior should be immortalized across the country.

This submission includes episode one, "Pauli Murray vs. Jane Crow."

The whole podcast series can be found here.