Offered by Andrea Davis
The Washington Post’s New Series
With Overlooked, our new collection of obituaries for people who never got them, The Times is recalling the lives of those who were passed over for generations, for whatever reasons. Some were famous, like the poet Sylvia Plath, while others were more obscure, like the first American woman to win an Olympic championship (without ever knowing it).
Recy Taylor, whose bold testimony in 1944 helped lay the foundation for the civil rights movement, quietly passed away this morning (December 28) She would’ve been 98 on Sunday. She is survived by a number of loving & devoted family members. She inspired me & many to use our voices as weapons
Photo Credit: Danielle L. McGuire
Recy Taylor (December 31, 1919 – December 28, 2017) was a black woman from Abbeville in Henry County, Alabama, US. On September 3, 1944, she was kidnappedwhile leaving church and gang-raped by six white men. Even though the men admitted the rape to authorities, two grand juries subsequently declined to indict the men, meaning no charges were ever brought against her six assailants.
In 2011, the Alabama House of Representatives apologized on behalf of the state “for its failure to prosecute her attackers.” Taylor’s rape and the subsequent court cases were among the first instances of nationwide protest and activism among the African American community, and ended up providing an early organizational spark for the Civil Rights Movement. from Wikipedia
The following is a guest post by Beverly Brannan, Curator of Photography, Prints & Photographs Division.
African American women as well as men assumed civic responsibilities in the decades after the Civil War. William Henry Richards (1856-1941) was active in several organizations that promoted civil rights and civil liberties for African Americans at the end of the nineteenth century. (this info sent in by Lyte) Continue reading…
We remember those who have made a significant contribution to gender equality and women’s lives and well-being. With honor and respect for their work and effort, we will not forget.
(Please let us know additions you might have to this section – Click here for the National Women’s History Online Exhibits)