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Sermon Brief

A Song in A Weary Throat: Pauli Murray”

May 21, 2017

"A Song in A Weary Throat:  Pauli Murray"

Sermon Brief May 21, 2017 – Freedom Sunday

… A civil rights activist, a feminist, an internationalist, a scholar, attorney, poet, author, university professor, and priest, Pauli Murray (1910-1985) had many careers as she reached out to help others and help make this a better world….   

Once upon a time, in the summer of 1974, for eleven weeks, Pauli Murray and I were thrown together by chance day by day at Bellevue Hospital in a chaplaincy training program.  We met and talked and got to know each other a little, but we each had our different paths….

How little we may know one another, and while few of us may reach Pauli Murray's accomplishments, we each have a story of hope and struggle.  How much richer our lives are when we do discover one another!

… Like Martin Luther King, Jr., she professed a sense of cosmic companionship in the struggle for justice.  It is holy work.  How simple, how important!  

… Where does that come from?   How can we share it, get it?  Her faith helped her; her faith that change was Life's way; that growth and loss and new beginnings were God's way.  

The stories of our lives may remain hidden from each other, and often paths cross only at a tangent like my brief encounter with Pauli Murray.   I now know that in that short period in 1974, I had met one of the stubborn ones, one laboring to bring forth a new creation, a better world.  Someone who reveals once again the humanly possible, the glory that leaves us just slightly lower than the angels.

Her legacy is vast and includes the renaming last year of an undergraduate residence at Yale. Calhoun College is now Pauli Murray College.

            ”She liked to say:  ‘I speak for my race and my people, the human race and just people.’”  (Jane Crow: The Life of Pauli Murray, Rosalind Rosenberg)

                                                                        Rev. Bruce Southworth

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Last Published: May 23, 2017 1:26 PM