07.25.2014 - 01.25.2015

Pauli Murray: Imp, Crusader, Dude, Priest

Pauli Murray, 1910-1985, was a courageous and accomplished American human rights activist who believed in reconciliation, truth telling, and freedom. She pictured herself, personally and professionally, as having multi-faceted identities. Throughout her life, she worked to end the discrimination she faced as a woman, person of color, worker, and member of the LGBTQ community.

Murray grew up in Durham, North Carolina and her life story inspires and challenges the world to embrace radical humanism, and to reject the idea that one's identity fit into a silo based on race, gender, sexuality or class. Her legacy: a new way to define "freedom." Murray worked and fought for individuals to have freedom by defining themselves outside society's historically strict and oppressive categories.

This new exhibit, created by the Pauli Murray Project and in collaboration with Levine Museum, offers a timeline of Murray's ambitions, accomplishments and struggles. Among these are her work as a writer, lawyer, feminist, professor, poet and, first African American female Episcopal priest. The exhibit features life size photographs of Murray that reflect the dimensions of how she saw and presented herself to the world, dimensions that were feel between or even outside society's traditional categories of race (black v. white), gender (male v. female), sexuality (homosexual v. heterosexual) and class (upper class v. working class). Text panels and interactives accompany the photographs, allowing visitors to examine and discover how Murray navigated her work and journey through the many expectations and discriminations that were applied to her.

This new exhibit was developed by Barbara Lau, the director of the Pauli Murray Project at the Duke Human Rights Center.

Pauli Murray: Imp, Crusader, Dude, Priest is part of the current suite of LGBTQ Perspectives on Equality exhibits, supported by presenting sponsor PNC, Charlotte Lesbian and Gay Fund, Arts and Science Council, The Charlotte Observer, and individuals and organizations from the community.

It is also presented in conjunction with Destination Freedom: Civil rights Struggles Then and Now.

Destination Freedom is supported by presenting sponsor Bank of America and education sponsor UNC Charlotte.


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