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The Price of Survival

A Song of Hope: The Life Story of Pauli Murray

The Price of Survival is a feature film in development about Pauli Murray, a leading twentieth century intellectual. Murray advocated the only way to root out inequality was to address race and gender discrimination simultaneously. As a lawyer she is the architect of modern feminist legal theory. As a civil rights leader, she is credited with helping to develop direct non-violent action in the 1930s as a strategy for civil rights that would pave the way for the movement of the 50s and 60s. As a writer and theologian, she has left us with groundbreaking material on American democracy and identity.

Murray's contemporaries describe her as a petite woman, who was brilliant, stubborn, and a fearless debater. Privately, she feared that her cross-dressing and choice of women as romantic partners ruined her professional career, and lived with a constant doubt that she could wind up in a mental institution, like her father did. The film weaves Murray's diaries, private notes, poetry, and autobiography into a narrative that takes viewers on a journey through the shifting social boundaries and cultural landscape of twentieth-century America, from the perspective of one of our most important intellectual leaders.

Visit the film's website

Above image created as part of the Face Up Public Art Initiative, courtesy of the Pauli Murray Project.


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