Thursday, March 3, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.
Henry A. Wallace Center at the
FDR Presidential Library and Home

Hyde Park, N.Y. - The Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum is pleased to present an author talk and book signing with Patricia Bell-Scott, author of THE FIREBRAND AND THE FIRST LADY: PORTRAIT OF A FRIENDSHIP: PAULI MURRAY, ELEANOR ROOSEVELT, AND THE STRUGGLE FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE. The program will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 3, 2016in the Henry A. Wallace Center at the FDR Presidential Library and Home. Following the presentation, Professor Bell-Scott will be available to sign copies of her book. This event is free and open to the public.

THE FIREBRAND AND THE FIRST LADY tells the story of how a brilliant writer-turned-activist, granddaughter of a mulatto 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 and helped to alter the course of race and racism in America.

Pauli Murray first saw Eleanor Roosevelt in 1933, at the height of the Depression, at a government-sponsored, two-hundred-acre camp for unemployed women where Murray was living. The first lady appeared one day unannounced, behind the wheel of her car, her secretary and a Secret Service agent her passengers. To Murray, then aged twenty-three, Roosevelt's self-assurance was a symbol of women's independence, a symbol that endured throughout Murray's life.

Five years later, Pauli Murray, a twenty-eight-year-old aspiring writer, wrote a letter to Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt protesting racial segregation in the South. It was the First Lady who wrote back. And so began a friendship between Pauli Murray (poet, intellectual rebel, principal strategist in the fight to preserve Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, co-founder of the National Organization for Women, and the first African American female Episcopal priest) and Eleanor Roosevelt (first lady of the United States, later first chair of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, and chair of the President's Commission on the Status of Women) that would last for a quarter of a century.

Drawing on letters, journals, diaries, published and unpublished manuscripts, and interviews, Patricia Bell-Scott gives us the first close-up portrait of this evolving friendship and how it was sustained over time, what each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 American social justice.

Patricia Bell-Scott is 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 Book Prize. She lives in Athens, Georgia, with her husband, Charles V. Underwood Jr.

Copies of Professor Bell-Scott's book will be available for sale after the talk. Please contact Cliff Laube at (845) 486-7745 or email with questions about the event.

Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum
Designed by Franklin Roosevelt and dedicated on June 30, 1941, the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum is the nation's first presidential library and the only one used by a sitting president. Every president since FDR has followed his example and established a presidential library administered by the National Archives and Records Administration to preserve and make accessible to the American people the records of their presidencies. The Roosevelt Library's mission is to foster a deeper understanding of the lives and times of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and their continuing impact on contemporary life. This work is carried out through the Library's archives and research room, museum collections and exhibitions, innovative educational programs, and engaging public programming. For more information about the Library or its programs call (800) 337-8474 or visit



Cliff Laube (845) 486-7745