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Durham Names New School After Two Civil Rights Icons

Source: News & Observer

Murray-Massenburg Elementary School will be the name of the new school in southern Durham. The new school that is scheduled to open in the fall of 2023 is named after human rights activist the Rev. Dr. Pauli Murray and the first African-American Durham City School Principal Betty Doretha Massenburg.

Murray is the first Black person to earn a degree from Yale University. Murray is known for her work on the desegregation of schools through her legal arguments and interpretations of the U.S. Constitution. Murray also worked on LGBTQ and women’s rights. She was a legal scholar, author, feminist, poet, Episcopal priest, labor organizer, and multiracial Black and LGBTQ community member.

Massenburg was the first Black principal in Durham City Schools leading the way at Holloway Street Elementary in 1975. Massenburg established her career in the classroom in Durham City and held a position as dean of girls and assistant principal at Rogers-Herr Middle School. 

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