My Name Is Pauli Murray (2021)
November 6, 2022 9:15 AM - Subscribe

A look at the life and ideas of Pauli Murray, a non-binary Black lawyer, activist and poet who influenced both Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Thurgood Marshall.
posted by latkes (4 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
A very straight ahead kind of documentary - but the subject is such a unique and compelling character it moves along in an engaging and sometimes moving way. This kind of story is so important for understanding how movements and change work: Murray attempted and failed to fight transportation segregation laws 15 years before the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Murray was part of desegregating Washington DC restaurants almost 20 years before the Greensboro lunch counter sit ins. We have such a mythologized conception of social change movements- sharing more stories shows the extremely circuitous road to justice, a road paved with seeming failures.

There's a lot online about Pauli Murray, worth learning more!

Film wise- I was impressed with the editing which integrated historical footage and photographs beautifully and effectively, and appreciated that Murray's gender identity was a central part of the story. The filmmakers did not shy away from the fact that we can't retrospectively define Murray's gender but there was clarity that Murray saw themself as a man or as living in both worlds as a man and a woman, and that Murray was attracted to femmes and that Murray caught medical treatment for their gender dysphoria and of course that Murray was a visionary feminist.
posted by latkes at 9:24 AM on November 6, 2022 [2 favorites]

Sought not caught
posted by latkes at 9:36 AM on November 6, 2022

I have read a little bit about Murray but did not know there was a biopic. A quick search says it's available on Prime, for anyone who might be looking for how to watch it. Thanks for bringing this to my attention latkes!
posted by Lawn Beaver at 6:48 AM on November 7, 2022 [1 favorite]

I heard the filmmakers interviewed on Strict Scrutiny a year or so back: this documentary is well-worth watching, if only for the information that both Thurgood Marshall and RBG relied upon Murray's work in their transformative legal activism.
posted by suelac at 6:18 PM on November 9, 2022

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