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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Pauli Murray becomes first Black queer person on U.S. currency
2023-02-08

This article shared 4404 times since Wed Feb 8, 2023
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Pauli Murray (1910-85)—who was an LGBTQ+ human-rights activist, lawyer and Episcopal priest and who is the subject of the documentary My Name Is Pauli Murray—will soon be honored with a quarter of her own, USA Today noted.

The U.S. Mint is honoring Murray through the American Women Quarters Program, which features coins with designs created to honor the legacy and diverse accomplishments of American women throughout history. The program will also honor "Queen of Salsa" Celia Cruz; Patsy Takemoto Mink, the first woman of color to serve in Congress; Patsy Takemoto Mink, the first woman of color to serve in Congress; and Zitkala-Sa (aka Gertrude Simmons Bonnin), a writer and activist for Native American rights.

Dr. David J. Johns, executive director of the LGBTQ+ organization the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), issued a statement lauding the achievement: "The announcement by the U.S. Mint that it will include civil rights activist Rev. Dr. Pauli Murray, the first Black queer person to be featured on U.S. currency deserves celebration. This moment is a reminder that wherever there is history there is Black history, and that Black history has always included the contributions of Black queer, trans, and non-binary/non-conforming members of our beautifully diverse community.

"Commemorating the life and legacy of Murray, who was a groundbreaking leader of racial and gender equality and progenitor of effective civil rights tactics, and was also one of the first women, first gender nonbinary person, and the first Black woman to be ordained as an Episcopal priest, is an important step toward recognizing the contributions that Black LGBTQ+/same-gender loving people have made to American history — Especially at a time when the evangelical right is using religion to separate, segregate, and inspire hate.

"We commend the U.S. Mint for honoring Pauli Murray, amongst a number of influential and groundbreaking women. The lives, contributions, and stories of Black trans, queer, and non-binary/non-conforming people are fundamental to Black history and should continue to be told and celebrated."


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