Screening: ‘The Rape of Recy Taylor’
The Institute for Diversity and Empowerment at Annenberg (IDEA) presents a screening The Rape of Recy Taylor and a conversation with Communication Professors Safiya Umoja Noble, Alison Trope and Cristina Visperas.
This documentary tells the story of Recy Taylor, a 24-year-old black mother and sharecropper, who was gang raped by six white boys in 1944 Alabama. Though this was a common occurrence in the Jim Crow South, few women spoke up in fear for their lives. But not Recy Taylor, who instead bravely identified her rapists. The NAACP sent its chief rape investigator Rosa Parks to Alabama, who rallied support and triggered an unprecedented outcry for justice. This film exposes the legacy of physical abuse inflicted upon black women and reveals Rosa Parks’ intimate role in Recy Taylor’s story. An attempted rape against Parks was but one inspiration for her ongoing fight for justice for countless women like Taylor. Parks’ 1955 bus boycott was the result of decades of activist work, not the beginning.
More and more women are now speaking up after their assault. The Rape of Recy Taylor shines a light on the black women who spoke up when danger was greatest; it was their noble efforts to reclaim control of their bodies that paved the way for today’s generation of activists. The 2017 Women’s March and the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement are directly linked to their courage.