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Pauli Murray Home Designated National Historic Landmark

Tomorrow, Saturday, April 1, The Pauli Murray Project will host elected officials and “family and community leaders” when the Pauli Murray Family Home in Durham is officially designated a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service.

The “Homecoming” kicks off at 1:00 pm and includes a plaque presentation, exhibits on Pauli Murray’s life and legacy, arts activities, book sales, and neighborhood walking tours. Snacks and beverages will be available throughout the day; for the full schedule, click here.

Pauli Murray was a 1998 inductee of the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame. The Pauli Murray Project provides this concise bio:

Pauli Murray was a champion for civil and human rights who grew up in Durham. Her insights and vision continue to resonate powerfully in our times. As a historian, attorney, poet, activist, teacher and Episcopal priest, she worked throughout her life to address injustice, to give voice to the unheard, to educate, and to promote reconciliation between races and economic classes. Her beautifully written memoir, Proud Shoes: The Story of an American Family, was published in 1956. The book chronicles her roots and paints a compelling portrait of Durham during its formative years.

According to a story in the Duke Chronicle, Pauli “helped found the National Organization for Women in 1966 and was the first African American woman to be ordained as an Episcopal priest.”

In July of 2012, the Episcopal Church voted to include Pauli Murray in its book Holy Men, Holy Women: Celebrating the Saints. This officially made Pauli a Saint of the Episcopal Church.

Earlier this year, Pauli’s childhood home received a $237,575 federal grant through the National Park Service African American Civil Rights Grant Program Historic Preservation Fund to “complete the renovation of the interior of the house, including the utilities. It will also allow the project to work on a landscaping plan.” The Historic House and Welcome Center should be open to the public by 2020.

Obtaining the federal grant took a massive effort, including a restoration of the foundation of the home and the collection of 2,700 signatures to prove to the National Park Service that designating the home National Historic Landmark was in the best interest of Durham, North Carolina, and the country as a whole.

For more about the Pauli Murray Project, and the designation, visit www.paulimurrayproject.org.