One of Pauli Murray’s Biggest Champions and Confidantes: Eleanor Roosevelt

September 14, 2016 by David J. Brown

The nonfiction book, “The Firebrand and the First Lady” by Patricia Bell-Scott released this year reveals just how deep a bond existed between two unlikely allies: Pauli Murray, an African American female lawyer, activist, Episcopal priest, and writer and Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady of the United States.

Though separated by differences in age, race and class, the two women forged an easy alliance, bound by a shared drive for social change in their lifetime. The letters they exchanged across three decades provide the basis for the book.

This week, the book was nominated for the National Book Award for nonfiction.

A review of the book by our executive vice president and chief preservation officer is now online. Take a look at how these two women supported each other’s activism against racism and sexism and then join us in urging the National Park Service to make Pauli Murray’s home a National Historic Landmark!

Available from and wherever books are sold.

The Firebrand and the First Lady book cover

This Preservation Month, let's celebrate and explore historic places, starting with one action a day through the month of May. We can’t wait to see what you accomplish!

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