In 1944 in Alabama, Recy Taylor, a 24-year-old black woman, was raped by six white men. Against formidable odds, Taylor pressed charges, shifting the course of the Civil Rights Movement.
Recy Taylor came back into the headlines last year following Oprah Winfrey’s tribute to her at the Golden Globes, introducing her as ‘a name I know and think you should know too’. Now a new documentary, The Rape of Recy Taylor, shines new light on the story of one woman who changed the course of the Civil Rights Movement.In 1944, in Abbeville, Alabama, 24-year-old Recy Taylor was raped by six white men on her way back from church.
Despite threats being made against her life, she went against formidable odds to press charges against her rapists. The NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) sent Rosa Parks, their chief investigator (and civil rights activist) to work on the case. Together they fought relentlessly for justice, but the six men were never prosecuted. Her representation and the community’s rallied support triggered an unprecedented outcry for justice, a moment which became a landmark in the Civil Rights Movement.
Nancy Buirski’s timely documentary is a testament to this inspirational figure who spoke out long before the #MeToo era. The documentary uses rare ‘race films’ – films made by mostly black filmmakers with black casts for black audiences – along with vintage footage and home movies to tell Recy Taylor’s story.