Black History Culture : Recy Taylor: A Symbol of Jim Crow's Forgotten Horror

Discussion in 'Black History - Culture - Panafricanism' started by Amnat77, Feb 11, 2011.

  1. Amnat77

    Amnat77 Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Messages:
    5,428
    Likes Received:
    2,620
    Occupation:
    professional.
    Location:
    UK..not for long
    Ratings:
    +2,622
    Sept. 3, 1944: It's a damp evening in the Alabama black belt, nearly midnight, but services at Rock Hill Holiness Church in the small town of Abbeville have just let out. Recy Taylor, a 24-year-old sharecropper, sets out along the town's fertile peanut plantations, accompanied for the walk home by two other worshippers from the African-American congregation. Moments later, a green Chevrolet rolls by -- and their routine journey takes a horrifying turn.

    Wielding knives and guns, seven white men get out of the car, according to Taylor and witnesses from a state investigation of the case. One shoves Taylor in the backseat; the rest squeeze in after her and ride off. Her panicked friends run to tell the sheriff.

    After parking in a deserted grove of pecan trees, the men order the young wife and mother out at gunpoint, shouting at her to undress. Six of them rape Taylor that night. Once finished, they drive her back to the road, ordering her out again before roaring off into the darkness.

    Days after the brutal attack, Taylor's story traveled through word of mouth, catching the attention of a Montgomery NAACP activist named Rosa Parks. A seasoned anti-rape crusader, who focused on the sexual assaults of black women that were commonplace in the segregated South, Parks would eventually help bring the case international notice. Despite her efforts, however, in Jim Crow-era Alabama, Taylor's assailants were never punished.

    It's curious, to say the least, that Taylor's name is not mentioned in history books. While most analyses of circumstances that inspired the civil rights movement focus on black men -- being lynched or railroaded into jail, or facing down segregationists -- the stories of countless black women like Recy Taylor, who were raped by white men during the same era, have gone understated, if not overlooked entirely.

    Nearly 70 years later, having such a brutal attack swept under the rug is still a source of pain for a surviving victim.

    "Wasn't nothing done about it," Taylor, now 91, told The Root in a phone interview from her Florida home. "The sheriff never even said he was sorry it happened. I think more people should know about it … but ain't nobody [in Abbeville] saying nothing."

    Organizing a National Movement

    At the time, others -- more than she ever knew -- did speak out in defense of Taylor. Her brother Robert Corbitt, now 74, was just 8 years old when his eldest sister was kidnapped, but he remembers that night well, and all that followed.

    He recalls crying on the porch of their childhood home as their father, Benny Corbitt, went out looking for her. "He came back by the house about three times, and each time, his shirt was wringing with sweat," he told The Root. "Nobody slept that night."

    http://www.theroot.com/views/recy-taylor-symbol-jim-crow-s-forgotten-horror?page=0,0
     
  2. Amnat77

    Amnat77 Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Messages:
    5,428
    Likes Received:
    2,620
    Occupation:
    professional.
    Location:
    UK..not for long
    Ratings:
    +2,622
    Danielle McGuire, an assistant professor of history at Wayne State University and author of the recently published book At the Dark End of the Street, documenting Taylor's story as well as others from the civil rights era, says that the broader goal of the Committee for Equal Justice was to quash the legacy of Jim Crow. "They used the horror of her story to highlight the hypocrisy of the United States -- at war around the world for democracy, and yet there was no democracy at home," McGuire told The Root. "They might have not seen Recy Taylor as sophisticated enough to be a spokesperson for the campaign, so a lot of this was organized without the family's knowledge."



    http://www.theroot.com/views/recy-taylor-symbol-jim-crow-s-forgotten-horror?page=0,1
     
  3. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    Messages:
    19,252
    Likes Received:
    5,505
    Gender:
    Female
    Ratings:
    +5,560
    Why 1944 rape case still resonates with African-Americans

    By Clutch Magazine
    8:20 AM on 03/22/2011

    ...Yesterday, at a press conference Democratic State Rep. Dexter Grimsley of Newville addressed members of Taylor's family acknowledging the failure of authorities to investigate and pursue justice for her case.

    I would like to extend a deep, heartfelt apology for the error we made here in Alabama. It was so unkind. We can't stand around and say that it didn't happen.​

    Many have said that the apology should have come from the entire state of Alabama. They say that the onus is not only on this community but on those in the federal government to respond as well. They certainly have a case and should pursue an apology on behalf of the government to Mrs. Taylor and the countless other black women whose rapes at the hands of white men went systematically unpunished by a racism plagued government.

    But reading the news reports on yesterday's press conference, I was struck by a small detail in the report. Taylor's youngest brother, , has fought long and hard to get officials to recognize the wrong done against his sister. Though he was only a child when his sister was brutally raped, he has gone over the rejection of her case by an all-white grand jury with a fine toothcomb. He learned how prosecutors false accused his sister of being a prostitute. He studied how Rosa Parks and other prominent activists launched the Committee for Equal Justice for Mrs. Recy Taylor on his sisters' behalf.

    Mrs. Taylor's brother had also kept tabs on the seven men accused in the gang rape of his sister. According to Corbitt's interview with the Anniston Star, six of the seven men identified as his sister's attackers were dead.
    What stood out to me in reading reports on the story was Corbitt and Taylor's lack of concern over the fate of the remaining living offender. Alabama is one of six previously segregated Southern states with no statute of limitations on rape. Yet, bringing this man forward to face trial was neither Corbitt nor Taylor's concern. Instead, Corbitt says that he was focused on an apology from the State because of what he thought mattered more:

    I would like to see her have some peace before she leaves this earth. What hurt her the most was their saying this never happened.​

    Though he did not say it and did not have to- Mr. Corbitt's sister is a remarkably strong woman. Not only did Mrs. Taylor endure the horrible experience of rape, she had risen above the hatred that fueled the attack. Though she certainly would have every right, she was not placing emphasis on the punishment of her still living attacker, but on the acknowledgment of the injustice inflicted on her and other black women in that time.

    Corbitt says that he would like to see his sister have some peace before she leaves this earth, but her emphasis' on justice over hatred suggests she has already found a way within her spirit to create some refuge from the storm.
    Mrs. Taylor deserves an apology from the highest levels of our government. She deserved it years ago and certainly before she leaves this earth. But I think what she deserves to be remembered for goes beyond the horrible violence inflicted upon her but also the powerful brand of mercy she carried in her spirit that gave her a freedom from the injustice around her and an ability to endure.

    At 91, Mrs. Taylor has outlived six of her seven attackers. Though her health kept her from attending yesterday's press conference, there is no doubt of that woman's spirit or her strength...

    http://www.thegrio.com/black-history/why-1944-rape-case-still-reverberates-for-blacks.php
    ...
     
  4. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    Messages:
    19,252
    Likes Received:
    5,505
    Gender:
    Female
    Ratings:
    +5,560


    A groundbreaking book by Danielle L. McGuire. The author gives us the never-before-told history of how the civil rights movement began; how it was in part started in protest against the ritualistic rape of black women by white men who used economic intimidation, sexual violence, and terror to derail the freedom movement; and how those forces persisted unpunished throughout the Jim Crow era. Black women's protests against sexual assault and interracial rape fueled civil rights campaigns throughout the South that began during WWII and went through to the Black Power Movement. The Montgomery bus boycott was the baptism, not the birth, of that movement
     
Loading...

Users found this page by searching for:

  1. recy taylor forum