Why did I love this book?
This is a must-read memoir about the childhood of one of America’s most important and least recognized human rights heroes, Pauli Murray. After the loss of her mother in 1914, Murray moved to Durham, NC to live with her aunt and grandparents. The family was Black, White, and Indigenous, giving Murray a unique perspective on what it means to be an American and grapple with what she described as both the “degradation and dignity” of her ancestors. We might now call Murray transgender since she later came to believe that she should have been born a man. I go back to this book frequently and can almost feel how this passionate advocate for human rights found her calling in her own family’s struggle and history. There is also a fabulous documentary, My Name is Pauli Murray, that delves into her human rights advocacy and gender identity.