Pauli Murray & Eleanor Roosevelt

March 08, 2017

Pauli Murray & Eleanor Roosevelt

I drew this quick doodle for International Women's Day, to commemorate Pauli Murray and Eleanor Roosevelt. I was reading The Firebrand and the First Lady (by Patricia Bell Scott) at the time, an inspiring story of an unlikely friendship between two remarkable women. Pauli Murray was a black, queer, feminist civil rights activist and one of the first lawyers to argue that the Equal Protection Clause's approach to racial discrimination should apply equally to gender-based discrimination as well. I'll leave her long list of high achievements for the book to tell of, but she was an impressive women of whom the world seems to know little about.

I also had no idea Eleanor Roosevelt was such a proponent of civil rights! She was a staunch champion who stood up against the popularity of segregation in those days. We were not taught this in school, and that is a severe injustice to her memory and to the movement.

One of my favorite stories about Eleanor was about the Tuskegee Airmen. It was largely thanks her that they were able to fly in combat at all. She got in one of their planes, said "smell you later, Secret Service! Hey, journo, take my picture." And took off on a flight with the black pilot to show the country that these guys were good pilots and should not be held back from doing their jobs because of their race.

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