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Laying Down The Law

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PAULI: EPISODE TWO

In 1948, Pauli Murray began a years-long journey, crossing the country to document each state's segregation laws. The result was an exhaustive, 700-page tome. The text, published in 1951, may have a pretty unexciting title — “States' Laws on Race and Color”  — but its nickname is more glamorous: the “bible of civil rights law."

Pauli's work documenting discriminatory ordinances across the nation was pivotal to the NAACP’s legal team as they fought key battles against segregation in the mid-20th century. But Murray’s road to writing that bible was anything but easy, and she was often on the verge of having to forego the seminal project.

Episode transcript available here.

Guests:
Kenneth Mack: Lawrence D. Biele Professor of Law and Affiliate Professor of History at Harvard University, and author of Representing the Race: The Creation of the Civil Rights Lawyer (Harvard University Press, 2012).

Danielle Holley-Walker: Professor of Law and Dean of Howard University School of Law.

Thanks to the Southern Oral History Program at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill for providing audio included in this episode.

Leoneda Inge is WUNC’s race and southern culture reporter, the first public radio journalist in the South to hold such a position. She also is co-host of the podcast Tested and host of the special podcast series, PAULI. Leoneda is the recipient of numerous awards from AP, RTDNA and NABJ. She’s been a reporting fellow in Berlin and Tokyo. You can follow her on Twitter @LeonedaInge.
Charlie Shelton-Ormond is a podcast producer for WUNC.
Stacia Brown comes to WUNC from Washington, DC, where she was a producer for WAMU’s daily news radio program, 1A. She’s the creator and host of two podcasts, The Rise of Charm City and Hope Chest. Her audio projects have been featured on Scene on Radio, a podcast of the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University; BBC 4’s Short Cuts; and American Public Radio’s Terrible, Thanks for Asking.
Content Director Lindsay Foster Thomas is a multiplatform journalist and audio storyteller with a background in public radio that began right here at WUNC.