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Who Was Pauli Murray? (Archived)

March 16, 2018

In recognition of National Women’s History Month, I thought I’d highlight this remarkably impressive woman.  Probably one of the most prolific, influential and consequential individuals in American society during the 20th century that most folks never heard of.  Why?  Not really sure.   Maybe she wasn't much for fanfare.  Instead she fought for fairness.

Ms. Anna Pauline (Pauli) Murray

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The U.S. Supreme Court and Thurgood Marshall contemplated the veracity of her original thoughts as justification on landmark cases. She broke through the proverbial walls of the most conservative and prestigious institutions of higher learning on her way to answering the call of President JFK as part of a Presidential Commission to address America’s obligations to women’s rights.  She showed Rosa Parks how to turn a bus ride in Richmond, Virginia into a movement in Montgomery, Mississippi 15 years before its future significance. Yes, she was the original “Me Too” movement and much, much more.  But still, not enough of us know her.

I challenge you to do a little research on this amazing woman. has a nice collection of books that are worth checking out.  If you’re on the run, I recommend a feature story published online in The New Yorker Magazine by Kathryn Schulz, “The Many Lives of Pauli Murray”.  During Woman’s History Month, if it doesn’t wet your appetite, nothing will.  Let me and others know what you think.  I would appreciate the feedback.


Eric D. Bailey, CFP®