Song in a Weary Throat: Honoring Pauli Murray at Barnard College






‘Song in a Weary Throat’: Pauli Murray’s Life and Legacy

Rosalind Rosenberg, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Sangodare (Julia Roxanne Wallace) & Monica L. Miller

Pauli MurrayUntil recently Pauli Murray was an unsung figure in the Civil Rights and feminist movements. A poet, writer, activist, labor organizer, legal theorist, and Episcopal priest, Murray took on the key social and economic justice issues of her day. The subject of a new biography, Jane Crow: The Life of Pauli Murray, by emerita professor of history Rosalind Rosenberg, Murray is now being recognized and celebrated for her legal and activist work in the service of freedom and justice, as well as her more recently recognized work fighting for the lives of people who transgressed sexual and gender norms in her lifetime. Rosenberg is joined by Alexis Pauline Gumbs BC ’04, an independent scholar and activist, and Sangodare (Julia Roxanne Wallace), a filmmaker, composer, theology scholar, and writer.

About the Speakers

Rosalind Rosenberg is Professor of History Emerita at Barnard College, Columbia University.A specialist in American history, with a focus on women’s legal, and social history, Rosalind Rosenberg was a distinguished member of the Barnard faculty for over 20 years.  She is the author of Divided Lives: American Women in the Twentieth Century, Changing the Subject: How the Women of Columbia Shaped the Way We Think About Sex and Politics, and Beyond Separate Spheres: Intellectual Roots of Modern Feminism.

Alexis Pauline Gumbs is a queer black trouble-maker and a black feminist love evangelist. She walks in the legacy of black lady school teachers in post slavery communities who offered sacred educational space to the intergenerational newly free in exchange for the random necessities of life. As the first person to do archival research in the papers of Audre Lorde, June Jordan and Lucille Clifton while achieving her PhD in English, Africana Studies and Women’s Studies at Duke University, she honors the lives and creative works of Black feminist geniuses as sacred texts for all people. She believes that in the time we live in, access to the intersectional holistic brilliance of the black feminist tradition is as crucial as learning how to read.

Sangodare (Julia Roxanne Wallace) is a safe space for transformation. Julia is a filmmaker, multimedia collaborator & consultant, musician, composer, theologian and facilitator, building on her familial legacy of three generations of Black Baptist preachers working in communities in the South. Julia is the founder of Queer Renaissance, a multimedia movement based on the premise that we can create the world anew; co-founder of Mobile Homecoming, a national intergenerational experiential archive project that amplifies generations of Black LGBTQ brilliance, and co-founder of Black Feminist Film School.

Monica L. Miller is the Tow Family Associate Professor of English and Africana Studies at Barnard College.  She is the author of Slaves to Fashion: Black Dandyism and the Styling of Black Diasporic Identity, which received the 2010 William Sanders Scarborough Prize for the best book in African American literature and culture from the Modern Language Association and was shortlisted for the 2010 Modernist Studies Association book prize.  A grantee from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (2012, 2001), the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (2004), and the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation (2004), she is a specialist in contemporary African American and Afro-diasporic literature and cultural studies. She is currently at work on a new project, Blackness Swedish Style: Race, Diaspora, and Belonging, which considers cultural production by the emerging black community in Sweden and its connection to black European identity formation and cultural/political movements.

For more info see the Barnard Center for Research on Women’s website:

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