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Pauli MurrayA Personal and Political Life$
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Troy R. Saxby

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781469654928

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469654928.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 20 September 2021

A Child of Destiny or a Nobody without Identity, 1910–1926

A Child of Destiny or a Nobody without Identity, 1910–1926

(p.1) One A Child of Destiny or a Nobody without Identity, 1910–1926
Pauli Murray

Troy R. Saxby

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter describes Pauli Murray’s childhood. At age three Murray moved from Baltimore to Durham, North Carolina, to live with her maternal relations following her mother’s sudden death. Murray endured another childhood trauma when a white attendant brutally murdered her father while he was confined to Crownsville Asylum for the Negro Insane. Jim Crow segregation created many more hardships and complications for Murray and her maternal family. Murray’s grandmother was descended from slaves and slave owners. Her grandfather fought for the Union in the Civil War. Both grandparents and many of their descendants could pass as white, but still embraced a black racial identity. The family subscribed to black uplift ideology: they prized education and adhered to middle-class values but also demonstrated ‘colorism.’

Keywords:   Pauli Murray, Baltimore, Durham, Childhood trauma, Crownsville Asylum, Jim Crow, Segregation, Uplift ideology, Black middle-class, Racial identity

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