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Murray, Pauli

Pauli Murray (1910–1985) was an African American feminist, gender-nonconforming civil rights activist, lawyer, educator, author, and priest who was active for over 50 years in struggles for racial, gender, and economic justice. Although she never openly identified as any nonnormative gender or sexuality, Murray expressed a masculine gender throughout her life. In her early 30s, she tried unsuccessfully to participate in experiments with the masculinizing hormone testosterone. Murray’s legacy is defined by both her gender nonnormativity and also her activist leadership, such as confronting racial segregation on public transit and in education, challenging racism within the women’s movement, crafting feminist-of-color analyses within American law, and pushing the Christian church to address its institutional sexism. Specifically, Murray helped pioneer tactics of nonviolent resistance that would ...

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