Recy Taylor Legacy
As Black History month begins many people think of others who have paved the way for blacks and others in America. To have freedom, liberty and justice were not just given to blacks, it was fought for and blacks are still fighting for equality.
As society think of black women in black history, brings acknowledgement of Oprah Winfrey referencing Recy Taylor in her great speech when she accepted the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes Awards. Oprah mentioning her legacy brought worldwide attention to the past, the history of women in America to the #Me Too Movement. Shining light on her story brought many at home watching to tears. The story of Recy Taylor is that she was walking home from church and suddenly abducted at gun point and raped by a group of six white men in 1944. The white men took her into their car to a secluded area. She was threatening to be killed and she thought they were going to kill her, but they let her walk home in fear. She survived the traumatic, sexual violence event, and she reported it to law enforcement right away. She stood up. She spoke up as many women never have the courage to do, because of fear of losing their life. She didn’t remain silent and used her voice for herself and all the other women who were afraid to use theirs. The sheriff sought after the suspects who committed the crime, but no arrest was made. Her house was firebombed at night, and she and her family moved to her father’s house. Many of the men had denied the rape while 4 of them confessed in doing it consensually. Our historic Civil Rights Leader Rosa Parks of the NAACP stepped in to bring exposure to her case. Sadly, she didn’t receive any justice in the court of law in Alabama. Two grand juries declined to indict the men. She eventually separated from her husband and moved to Florida with one child. She partnered with another man but didn’t have any more children because the vicious sexual assault left her infertile.
Those times were fragile, and many black women never saw any justice to sexual misconduct. With the women’s movement taking place in America and during Black History Month, a salute goes to honor all the black women for their strength, perseverance and desire to have their voices heard. The debut book Curse Inflicted: From Slavery to the Sex Trade examines black women in history to present day and the sexual harassment, sexual violence and sex trafficking that often takes place.
Crime and violence are so prevalent in black women lives and Recy Taylor story gives birth for other women to continue to fight the fight. The criminal justice system needs to be reformed, and so does criminalizing sex trafficking victims. The newly released book Curse Inflicted, will discuss the reasons why all of this sexual misconduct takes place in black women lives and how they can stop it.