Winner 2021

My Name is Pauli Murray

Drexler Films, Storyville Films, Participant

You may not know the name Pauli Murray. But you should. An increasingly towering figure in mid-twentieth century law—Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Thurgood Marshall cited them as an intellectual influence—Murray finally gets their due in Julie Cohen and Betsy West’s My Name is Pauli Murray. The documentary traces Murray’s historic firsts (they were the first Black person to receive a JSD from Yale Law School) and their legal acumen (their thinking and writing was instrumental in seminal legal opinions on school desegregation as well as women’s and LGBTQ rights). But it also offers up a history of a queer nonbinary individual who struggled with even finding the right language to self-identify; it’s why their work was unapologetically intersectional (they coined the concept of “Jane Crow,” for instance). Using Murray’s own words and excavating the personal history that informed the distinguished lawyer, poet, priest and writer, Cohen and West have crafted an indelible portrait of a figure who deserves to be better known. For restoring a key and inspiring figure to our historical memory, My Name Is Pauli Murray wins a Peabody Award.


Network/Station/Platform:  Prime Video. Creators:  Julie Cohen, Betsy West. Executive Producers:  Peggy Drexler, Jeff Skoll, Diane Weyermann, Elise Pearlstein. Associate Producer/Producer:  Talleah Bridges McMahon. Directors:  Betsy West, Julie Cohen. Writers:  Talleah Bridges McMahon, Julie Cohen, Cinque Northern, Betsy West. Editor:  Cinque Northern. Cinematography:  Claudia Raschke. Sound Mixer:  Sean O’Neil. Re-Recording Mixer:  Ryan M. Price, MPSE. Supervising Sound Editor:  Mary Ellen Porto, MPSE. Composer:  Jongnic Bontemps.