My Name Is Pauli Murray (2021): Betsy West and Julie Cohen’s Docu (Gender Identity, LGBTQ)

Betsy West and Julie Cohen’s My Name Is Pauli Murray, written by West, Cohen, Talleah Bridges McMahon and Cinque Northern, follows the life of lawyer-activist Pauli Murray.

Gay Directors, Gay Films? By Emanuel Levy (Columbia University Press).

World premiering at the 2021 Sundance Film Fest, it gained a limited release on Sep.17, prior to digital streaming on Prime Video on Oct. 1, by Amazon Studios.

The film follows the life of lawyer and activist Pauli Murray who was instrumental in arguing the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment outlawed discrimination based on sex.

Several scholars of Murray’s work are featured, including Brittney Cooper and Rosalind Rosenberg, author of the book, Jane Crow: The Life of Pauli Murray.

The film includes coverage of Murray’s papers housed at the Schlesinger library.

Murray’s influence on the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is covered in detail.

My Name Is Pauli Murray features a nuanced analysis of Murray’s gender identity, making connections between his identity and groundbreaking feminist legal arguments.

Historian Rosalind Rosenberg explains in the film how a sense of “in-betweenness” contributed to numerous innovative legal arguments presented by Murray concerning race and gender.