Feb 9, 2023 - News

Durham native Pauli Murray gets minted

Pauli Murray, a Durham native and trailblazing Episcopal priest. Photo: Bettmann/Contributor/Getty Images

Pauli Murray, a Durham native and influential civil rights activist, will be featured on a special-edition quarter starting in 2024, the U.S. Mint said.

Driving the news: Murray is one of five women who will be featured as part of the American Women Quarters Program.

  • Since 2022, the U.S. Mint has used special-edition quarters to celebrate the contributions of significant women in U.S. history. Already, quarters featuring Maya Angelou, Eleanor Roosevelt and Anna May Wong have been minted.

Context: Murray was the first Black woman to become an Episcopal priest when she was ordained in 1977.

  • In 1938, she attempted to integrate UNC-Chapel Hill to attend graduate school but was denied admission.
  • Murray then got a law degree at Howard University and was a prominent civil rights activist. Murray's scholarship became influential in many of the legal battles against segregation.
  • The 2021 documentary “My Name Is Pauli Murray" brought wider attention to Murray's status as a trailblazer. The film also explores Murray's impact as a member of the LGBT community and as someone who struggled with their gender identity.

Visit: The Pauli Murray Center is located in Murray's childhood home in Durham's West End neighborhood.


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