Patricia Bell-Scott is an award-winning author and professor emerita of women’s studies and human development and family science at the University of Georgia. Her previous books include Life Notes: Personal Writings by Contemporary Black Women, Flat-Footed Truths: Telling Black Women’s Lives, and Double Stitch: Black Women Write About Mothers & Daughters, which won the Letitia Woods Brown Memorial History Book Prize. Bell-Scott served for a decade as co-founding editor of SAGE: A Scholarly Journal on Black Women. A former contributing editor to Ms. Magazine, she is also a cofounder of the National Women’s Studies Association. She lives in Athens, Georgia, with her husband, Charles V. Underwood Jr.
The Firebrand and the First Lady: Portrait of a Friendship: Pauli Murray, Eleanor Roosevelt, and the Struggle for Social Justice, is a groundbreaking biography—two decades in the works—that tells the story of how a brilliant writer-turned-activist who was the granddaughter of a mixed-race slave, and the first lady of the United States whose ancestry gave her membership in the Daughters of the American Revolution, forged an enduring friendship that changed each of their lives, enriched the conversation about race, and added vital fuel to the movement for human rights in America. Pauli Murray (1910-1985) became a lawyer, civil and women’s rights pioneer, and the first African American woman to be ordained as an Episcopal priest, despite the discrimination she faced because of her race, sex, and sexuality. Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962), the niece of Theodore Roosevelt and the wife of Franklin D. Roosevelt, became a diplomat and human rights internationalist in her own right. Drawing on letters, journals, diaries, published and unpublished manuscripts, and interviews, Patricia Bell-Scott presents the first close-up portrait of this evolving friendship and how it was sustained over time, what each gave to the other, and how their friendship changed the cause of social justice.