Tag: Mahatma Gandhi

Yale University to Name Residential College After Civil and Women’s Rights Activist Anna Pauline Murray

Anna Pauline Murray
Anna Pauline Murray

article via naacp.org

Yale University is naming a new residential college after African-American Yale alumna and civil rights activist Anna Pauline “Pauli” Murray.  Pauli Murray is best known as a staunch civil rights and women’s rights advocate, lawyer and ordained Episcopal priest.  Ms. Murray’s lifelong commitment to ensuring a fair and just society for everyone serves as an inspiration and role model to NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks as well as many civil rights lawyers.

In 1938, Ms. Murray was denied admission to the University of North Carolina’s law school because she was African American – all schools and public facilities in the state were segregated.  Influenced by the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi and his practice of nonviolent civil disobedience, she joined with Bayard Rustin, George Houser and James Farmer to form the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE).  While a student at Howard Law School, she participated in sit-ins to challenge the discriminatory seating policies of area restaurants.  These sit-ins preceded the more widespread and well-known sit-ins of the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s.

After graduating from law school, Ms. Murray sought to continue her study of the law at Harvard University but was rejected because of her gender.  Her experiences with racism and gender inequality fueled her activism in the civil rights and women’s rights movements.  She authored a book, “States Laws on Race and Color” in 1951. Thurgood Marshall, then chief counsel at the  NAACP, described her book as the Bible for civil rights lawyers.  Upon completion of her doctorate in 1965, she became the first African American woman to be awarded a J.D.S from Yale University. Continue reading “Yale University to Name Residential College After Civil and Women’s Rights Activist Anna Pauline Murray”

Forty-Eight Years Ago Today: Martin Luther King Jr. Wins Nobel Peace Prize

Martin Luther King Jr.
On Oct. 14, 1964, Martin Luther King Jr. received a Nobel Peace Prize for his work in the civil rights movement at age 35, making him the youngest person to receive the honor.  By the mid-’60s, King was known internationally for his work in advocating racial equality through nonviolent civil disobedience. King was influenced by Indian activist Mahatma Gandhi and appropriated many of his theories about nonviolence in his organization of peaceful protests that were often met with brutal violence by whites. 

Upon notification of his Nobel win, King announced that he would donate the $54,123 in prize money to further the civil rights movement.  King continued to work as an activist and an outspoken advocate of civil rights until he was assassinated on April 4, 1968, while standing on the balcony of his hotel room in Memphis, Tennessee.

article by Naeesa Aziz via bet.com (Photo: Keystone/Getty Images)