Pauli Murray's Very American Family


February's selection is Proud Shoes: the Story of an American Family by Pauli Murray.  Originally published in 1956, it tells the story of her grandparents, delving into the realities of slavery, survival, and miscegenation in the pre-Civil War/Reconstruction era in the South.

The Rev. Dr. Pauli Murray was a nationally and internationally known advocate for human rights and social justice who grew up with her grandparents in Durham. In 1977, she was the first African American woman to be ordained an Episcopal priest, offering communion for the first time at Chapel of the Cross in Chapel Hill where her grandmother had been baptized as a slave.

In July of this past year, Murray was named to The Episcopal Church's pantheon of "Holy Women, Holy Men: Celebrating the Saints."

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