First published in 1956, Proud Shoes is the remarkable true story of slavery, survival, and miscegenation in the South from the pre-Civil War era through the Reconstruction. Written by Pauli Murray the legendary civil rights activist and one of the founders of NOW, Proud Shoes chronicles the lives of Murray's maternal grandparents. From the birth of her grandmother, Cornelia Smith, daughter of a slave whose beauty incited the master's sons to near murder to the story of her grandfather Robert Fitzgerald, whose free black father married a white woman in 1840, Proud Shoes offers a revealing glimpse of our nation's history.
The Reverend Dr. Pauli Murray (1910-1985) was a lawyer and civil-rights activist, America's first black woman Episcopalian priest, and a founder of NOW. Patricia Bell-Scott is professor of family and child development and women's studies at the University of Georgia. She was founding editor of SAGE: A Scholarly Journal on Women and has been a contributing editor to Ms. Magazine. She has published several books, including Life Notes: Personal Writings by Contemporary Black Women, Double Stitch: Black Women Write About Mothers and Daughters, and Flat-footed Truths: Telling Black Women's Lives (with Dr. Juanita Johnson-Bailey).