Celebrate Pauli Murray this Sunday in Durham

Hello all and happy weekend!

Before we head off into the literal and very beautiful fall sunset today, we want to remind you about Pauli Murray’s 100th birthday celebration on Sunday.  We do hope you’ll attend, or click around the interwebs in her honor if you can’t be there in person.

This Sunday, from 3 to 5, there will be a party at the Community, Family Life & Recreation Center at Lyon Park.  NC State School of Design students will present their vision for Pauli Murray’s childhood home.  Guests are invited to read their favorite Murray poem or to present poems written about Murray and her family.

And here, I give you a poem of Murray’s, to carry you though until Sunday:

Dark Testament: Verse 8

Hope is a crushed stalk

Between clenched fingers

Hope is a bird’s wing

Broken by a stone.

Hope is a word in a tuneless ditty –

A word whispered with the wind,

A dream of forty acres and a mule,

A cabin of one’s own and a moment to rest,

A name and place for one’s children

And children’s children at last . . .

Hope is a song in a weary throat.

Give me a song of hope

And a world where I can sing it.

Give me a song of faith

And a people to believe in it.

Give me a song of kindliness

And a country where I can live it.

Give me a song of hope and love

And a brown girl’s heart to hear it.

The event on Sunday is sponsored by the Pauli Murray Project, which is a program of the Duke Human Rights Center.  Click over to their website—through them, Pauli Murray’s lively work continues to resonate, both in Durham and throughout the region.  The Project connects current residents of all ages and races through the person of Pauli Murray.  Particularly visible, bright examples are the vibrant murals in the city of Durham that document and celebrate her life.

Click here to see Ellen’s blog about the murals, and about how they speak to her, as well as about all the events to honor Murray this month.  And here to read more (by me) about her depiction in  the UNC School of Government’s Service mural.

Stop by, eat some cake, listen to her words, and be inspired to take some action.  It promises to be a lovely day for such activities.