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Pauli Murray and Caroline Ware

Forty Years of Letters in Black and White

Edited by Anne Firor Scott

Publication Year: 2006

In 1942 Pauli Murray, a young black woman from North Carolina studying law at Howard University, visited a constitutional law class taught by Caroline Ware, one of the nation's leading historians. A friendship and a correspondence began, lasting until Murray's death in 1985. Ware, a Boston Brahmin born in 1899, was a scholar, a leading consumer advocate, and a political activist. Murray, born in 1910 and raised in North Carolina, with few resources except her intelligence and determination, graduated from college at 16 and made her way to law school, where she organized student sit-ins to protest segregation. She pulled her friend Ware into this early civil rights activism. Their forty-year correspondence ranged widely over issues of race, politics, international affairs, and--for a difficult period in the 1950s--McCarthyism. In time, Murray became a labor lawyer, a university professor, and the first black woman to be ordained an Episcopal priest. Ware continued her work as a social historian and consumer advocate while pursuing an international career as a community development specialist. Their letters, products of high intelligence and a gift for writing, offer revealing portraits of their authors as well as the workings of an unusual female friendship. They also provide a wonderful channel into the social and political thought of the times, particularly regarding civil rights and women's rights. This collection of letters documents the 40- year interracial friendship between writer Pauli Murray and historian Caroline Ware, both of whom were considered radical feminists at the time. Ware (1899-1990) was a Boston Brahmin with a Harvard Ph.D. who taught history and social work for two decades at Howard University and later became an adviser in community development & cultural affairs for the UN. Murray (1910-1985), who was biracial (African American and Cherokee), was raised by her aunt and grandparents in Durham, NC, graduated high school at 16 and earned her law degree from Howard, where she was a student of Ware. She became a labor lawyer, teacher, activist, poet, and writer, best known for her family memoir, Proud Shoes (1956). The correspondence is at times personal, sometimes political, and covers such topics as the civil rights movement, electoral politics, the labor movement, the debate about Fair Employment Practices, McCarthyism, feminism, NOW, as well as everyday struggles and triumphs. Strip & rebind: 1000 Cloth sales: 553 Cloth inventory: 1203 Recommendation for cloth edition: OP/OS Caroline Ware (1899-1990), a white historian, was a leading consumer advocate and a political activist. Pauli Murray (1910-1985), was an African American student of Ware's at Howard University who went on to become a labor lawyer, a university professor, and the first black woman to be ordained an Episcopal priest. The women shared a life-long friendship, and their forty-year correspondence ranges widely over issues of race, politics, international affairs, and McCarthyism. The letters, products of high intelligence and a gift for writing, reveal portraits of their authors as well as the workings of an unusual female friendship. They also provide a wonderful channel into the social and political thought of the times, particularly regarding civil rights and women's rights. In 1942 Pauli Murray, a young black woman from North Carolina studying law at Howard University, visited a constitutional law class taught by Caroline Ware, one of the nation's leading historians. A friendship and a correspondence began, lasting until Murray's death in 1985. Ware, a Boston Brahmin born in 1899, was a scholar, a leading consumer advocate, and a political activist. Murray, born in 1910 and raised in North Carolina, with few resources except her intelligence and determination, graduated from college at 16 and made her way to law school, where she organized student sit-ins to protest segregation. She pulled her friend Ware into this early civil rights activism. Their forty-year correspondence ranged widely over issues of race, politics, international affairs, and--for a difficult period in the 1950s--McCarthyism. In time, Murray became a labor lawyer, a university professor, and the first black woman to be ordained an Episcopal priest. Ware continued her work as a social historian and consumer advocate while pursuing an international career as a community development specialist. Their letters, products of high intelligence and a gift for writing, offer revealing portraits of their authors as well as the workings of an unusual female friendship. They also provide a wonderful channel into the social and political thought of the times, particularly regarding civil rights and women's rights.

Published by: The University of North Carolina Press

Cover

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p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-7

Contents

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pp. vii-9

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Preface

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pp. ix-xiii

This book is built on an exchange of letters between two remarkablewomen, Pauli Murray, black, born in 1910, raised in segregated NorthCarolina, and Caroline Farrar Ware, white, born in 1899, raised inThis project began by chance. A meeting at the Schlesinger Library inCambridge, Massachusetts, ended unexpectedly early, and I found myself...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-22

Lina Ware reached adulthood at the end of the First World War—at the close of what the British historian Eric Hobsbawm once called ‘‘the long nineteenth century.’’ She grew up in Brookline, Massachusetts, in a family of New England Unitarians with a long tradition of social concern as well as of attachment to Harvard University. Her great grandfather, Henry Ware, as dean...

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Chapter 1. The Correspondence Begins

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pp. 23-50

In 1942 the country was at war, and victory was by no means certain.War production was barely under way, though President Roosevelt as-sured citizens that they could do what was necessary. They could indeed,and in a very short time the needs of the war would take over the econ-omy, with attendant disruptions to the accustomed way of doing things....

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Chapter 2. The Cold War, McCarthyism, and Civil Rights

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pp. 51-91

The end of her venture as a candidate for office and the completion of the great compilation of state laws affecting discrimination, to which she returned after her electoral defeat, left Murray somewhat downhearted, although she remained much involved in party politics. At midcentury she was still having trouble making a decent living. American history is littered...

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Chapter 3. Family History, Global History

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pp. 92-112

While Murray struggled to perfect her family history, Ware’s life took a sudden turn when she was asked to undertake a very large, challenging responsibility as editor of the sixth volume of UNESCO'S History of Man-kind: Cultural and Social Development, which would cover the twentieth century. Her first reaction, spelled out in a long letter to Helen Lock-...

Photographs

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pp. 130-135

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Chapter 4. Ghana, UNESCO, and Beyond

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pp. 113-139

By 1959 Pauli Murray was once again restless. Maida Springer, whohad had a long association with what had been the Gold Coast and was,as of 1957, the newly independent nation of Ghana, sent her an advertise-ment for a lawyer who could teach in the new University of Ghana LawSchool. Murray applied for the job, and when the Ghanian government...

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Chapter 5. Writing, Editing, and Brandeis

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pp. 140-161

By 1965 Murray had completed her course work at Yale and was writ-ing a dissertation titled ‘‘Roots of the Racial Crisis: A Prologue to Policy.’’Harper and Row, which had published Proud Shoes, expressed an interesting publishing the volume if she could turn it into a readable book. Working very hard to that end, she relies as heavily as ever on Ware’s editorial...

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Chapter 6. The Last Phase

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pp. 162-170

After 1972 the correspondence slowed. Ware’s eyes were giving hertrouble and Murray was busy. There is plenty of evidence that theyremained close and that Murray was often at The Farm. In 1973, afterthe death of her close friend and comrade Renee Barlow, Pauli decidedto leave Brandeis and undertake training the for holy orders in the Epis-...

Appendix

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pp. 171-180

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A Personal Postscript

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pp. 181-188

What, my friends ask with some insistence: what did you learn from this enterprise? The answer is: a great deal that I did not guess at the About Pauli Murray and her forty-three-year friendship with Lina Ware, I had everything to learn. As I re-read Murray’s two autobiographies and read and re-read the extraordinary correspondence between the two...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 189-190

The ‘‘community of scholars’’ is not an idle phrase, nor is the idea of a circle of friends. Without both I would not have made it. Three people were present at the creation: Susan Ware, Linda Kerber, and Nancy Cott. Susan stayed with the project from start to finish, going far beyond the call of friendship. Early on, members of the staff at the Schlesinger Library of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced...

Index

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pp. 191-194


E-ISBN-13: 9781469605425
E-ISBN-10: 1469605422
Print-ISBN-13: 9780807830550
Print-ISBN-10: 0807830550

Page Count: 216
Illustrations: 9 illus.
Publication Year: 2006

Series Title: Gender and American Culture