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“True community is based upon equality, mutuality, and reciprocity. It affirms the richness of individual diversity as well as the common human ties that bind us together.”

“It had taken me almost a lifetime to discover that true emancipation lies in the acceptance of the whole past, in deriving strength from all my roots, in facing up to the degradation as well as the dignity of my ancestors.”

Pauli Murray was a civil rights attorney, author, poet, and lifelong fighter of racial and gender oppression. She was also the first African American woman to be an Episcopal priest. Murray co-founded the Congress for Racial Equality with Bayard Rustin, and spoke out about the sexist treatment Black women faced in the Civil Rights Movement.

Murray’s legal work, especially her book “States’ Laws on Race and Color” (1951) was incredibly important for civil rights law. She was also instrumental in the Equal Protection Revolution, a series of cases in the 1970s and on that sought to implement gender equality in law.

Murray was also an important figure in LGBT history because she felt deeply uncomfortable with binaries of gender and sexuality and explored in-between places on those spectrums.

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