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'My Name is Pauli Murray'


Vidanjali

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Yesterday, I watched "My Name is Pauli Murray" on Amazon Video. It is an excellent documentary about the extraordinarily fascinating life of Pauli Murray (1910-1985) who was a black genderqueer scholar, civil rights activist, lawyer, feminist, poet, and priest; who was way ahead of their time in so many aspects, and whose work was pivotal to many paradigm-shifting decisions in US law such as the inclusion of sex as a protected category within the 1964 civil rights act (which was later influential in the 2020 Supreme Court ruling which declared that discrimination according to sex also protected LGBT+ people).

 

In their lifetime, they did not openly discuss their sexual/gender identity - this was in part due to the fact that being openly queer in (most of) that time was illegal and dangerous. Also, as we know, there was a distinct dearth of knowledge, vocabulary and medical assistance available to queer folk in that time. The film also addresses some of her private struggles with her identity. Something I personally found most striking was her noting that in her state of feeling so much "othered" or "in between", they lamented that they felt any significant relationship was out of reach for them. 

 

I found the film rather riveting. I hope you will enjoy it.

 

Official trailer:

 

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1 hour ago, Vidanjali said:

Yesterday, I watched "My Name is Pauli Murray" on Amazon Video. It is an excellent documentary about the extraordinarily fascinating life of Pauli Murray (1910-1985) who was a black genderqueer scholar, civil rights activist, lawyer, feminist, poet, and priest; who was way ahead of their time in so many aspects, and whose work was pivotal to many paradigm-shifting decisions in US law such as the inclusion of sex as a protected category within the 1964 civil rights act (which was later influential in the 2020 Supreme Court ruling which declared that discrimination according to sex also protected LGBT+ people).

 

In their lifetime, they did not openly discuss their sexual/gender identity - this was in part due to the fact that being openly queer in (most of) that time was illegal and dangerous. Also, as we know, there was a distinct dearth of knowledge, vocabulary and medical assistance available to queer folk in that time. The film also addresses some of her private struggles with her identity. Something I personally found most striking was her noting that in her state of feeling so much "othered" or "in between", they lamented that they felt any significant relationship was out of reach for them. 

 

I found the film rather riveting. I hope you will enjoy it.

 

Official trailer:

 

I'm going to watch this, thanks, @Vidanjali

"Oppression is the business of not respecting one's person-hood."
— Pauli Murray

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5 hours ago, Vidanjali said:

My Name is Pauli Murray

I find it curious that I have never heard of her. There’s a great deal of history that is suppressed in the culture which manifests itself in oppression. The suppression is further justified by the oppression and it becomes an ugly circle.

 

it takes an act of the will to pick up a book and read it, or take the time and effort to locate and watch a movie. “I don’t have the time…” then results in subliminally condoning the oppression. 
 

Why don’t I know about Pauli? Maybe because I was too lazy to find out?

 

Thanks for sharing.

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2 hours ago, AgnesBardsie said:

I find it curious that I have never heard of her. There’s a great deal of history that is suppressed in the culture which manifests itself in oppression. The suppression is further justified by the oppression and it becomes an ugly circle.

 

it takes an act of the will to pick up a book and read it, or take the time and effort to locate and watch a movie. “I don’t have the time…” then results in subliminally condoning the oppression. 
 

Why don’t I know about Pauli? Maybe because I was too lazy to find out?

 

Thanks for sharing.

 

 

My pleasure @AgnesBardsie. I first heard of Pauli Murray at a social justice conference I attended recently, but only their name in passing. Now that I've learned some about them, I can see why historians in the know have claimed that they were so prolifically influencial, that they ought to be a household name. Indeed, the suppression often happens (1) when someone is so significantly ahead of their time, and (2) when that someone is not in the category of people who generally control the accepted historical narrative. After watching the movie, I ordered "The Firebrand and the First Lady" which is a biography of Murray focusing on their relationship with Eleanor Roosevelt. 

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