Beyond the Pale Media |||

Recy Taylor May Finally See Alabama Acknowledge Her 1944 Rape


Recy Taylor, Willie Guy Taylor and their child Joyce Lee Taylor. Courtesy of the Chicago DefenderRecy Taylor, Willie Guy Taylor and their child Joyce Lee Taylor. Courtesy of the Chicago Defender

Recy Taylor was abducted and raped at gunpoint by seven white men in Abbeville, Ala., on Sept. 3, 1944. Her attack, one of uncounted numbers on black women throughout the Jim Crow era in the South, sparked a national movement for justice and an international outcry, but justice never came. Now, decades later, there may finally be some solace for Taylor, 91, as Alabama state Rep. Dexter Grimsley tries to make his state issue a formal apology.

Reached by phone on Monday, Grimsley confirmed he is drafting a resolution for a state apology to Taylor. The circumstances merit it,” he said. It’s something that should be done. Recy Taylor found herself in a situation that wasn’t responded to, the way that the law would respond to something today.”

The FBI is currently investigating dozens of civil rights-era murders, mostly of men. But the sexual violence visited upon women like Taylor has never commanded the official attention of the FBI and other federal and state officials who have tried to right the crimes of our past.

From slavery through the better part of the 20th century, white men in the segregated South abducted and assaulted black women with alarming regularity and often impunity,” explained historian Danielle McGuire, whose new book At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape, and Resistance” was the first history of white-on-black sexual violence and black women’s organized resistance to it. They lured black women and girls away from home with promises of work and steady wages; attacked them on the job; abducted them at gunpoint while traveling to or from home, work, church or school; and sexually harassed them at bus stops, grocery stores and in other public spaces.”

New awareness of Taylor’s case, and of the pervasiveness of many more cases like it, has begun attracting new bands of supporters who want justice for past crimes of sexual violence against black women–from members of an online social network for social change, to the NAACP Alabama State Conference, to a black lawyers’ association in Michigan, to individual letter writers and callers from all over the country who have contacted Taylor’s family.

Read the full article at Colorlines

Up next The Legacy of a Murder Seeking ‘peace on this earth’: Detailing the need for Alabama to offer a formal state apology
Latest posts A Death Ruled “Justifiable” Reframing The March on Washington The Black Ambassador Who Took His Fight for Equality Straight to the State Department How a Black Journalist-Turned-Ambassador Changed the Game in Both Media and Diplomacy When Blue Jeans Got a Bad Name A Place to Remember Un(re)solved The War at Home Briggs v. Elliott brought us Brown v. Board of Education. Here’s how. Mr. Civil Rights Red Summer: When Racist Mobs Ruled William and Elizebeth Friedman and the NSA’s “Secrecy Virus” The Cryptanalyst Who Brought Down the Mob Mississippi Justice The Ongoing Fight She Resisted Black Women’s 200 Year Fight for the Vote Langston Hughes on Trial Another Hidden Figure: Clyde Foster Brought Color to NASA Broadcasting the Moon The Desegregation of Huntsville How NASA Sold Us a Trip to the Moon The Road to Apollo The Women Who Brought Us the Moon Wernher von Braun and the Nazis Zora Neale Hurston and the Polk County Blues Finding Carrie Buck The Acrobat Genetic Screening: Controlling Heredity The Rise and Fall of Lillian Leitzel, Circus Queen The Pain Of Police Killings Can Last Decades