The Real Reason All Women Should Know About Pauli Murray

Many people throughout history have been given the title of innovator. Whether they invented something or paved the way for others, being innovative is a surefire way to stay relevant throughout history. Pauli Murray was the definition of innovative. She was the first Black woman to practice law (via Represent Women). She was a star activist for causes centered around racial and gender equality. However, her work is not widely known today.

According to the National Organization For Women, Murray was planning sit-ins in Washington D.C. and was arrested for sitting in the white seating space on a public bus nearly 15 years before Rosa Parks was. She lived a remarkable life dedicated to social justice. She was one of the first Black queer women to be recognized for her activism.

Murray was a feminist who founded one of the biggest women's rights organizations still functioning today. So, why has her legacy been not often discussed?

She was a pioneer for the feminist movement

A new documentary looks to make Murray a household name again (via The Los Angeles Times). The film is called "My Name Is Pauli Murray," and it is currently playing in theaters and will be available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video on October 1. Murray took on roles from civil rights lawyer to priest, and she was the co-founder of the National Organization of Women (via NOW). She was a force to be reckoned with.

Talleah Bridges McMahon, co-writer and producer of the documentary, shares that Murray's work as a queer woman of color cannot be understated. "The result is that, if you're a person of color, if you're queer, if you're a woman or from [another] marginalized community in society, it gives the impression that people from your community don't have any value," she continues, "that you've been erased because there's nothing worth noting about you. It gives people a pretext for thinking that people like you don't matter."

Murray paved the way for the women's liberation movement and played an integral role in fighting for gender equality. And with the help of people like McMahon, her memory will live on.