On Sept. 3, 1944, 24-year-old Recy Taylor and two friends were on their way home from a late-night church service in Abbeville, Ala., when a group of white men abducted and raped her. Taylor refused to stay silent about the assault. Two grand juries refused to bring charges against her attackers. Taylor, who died at the age of 97, would never see justice during her lifetime.
Amid Hollywood’s heightened climate against sexual assault, Oprah Winfrey reminded those in attendance at the Golden Globes on Sunday that the push for women’s justice still falls along racial lines.
In short, during Oprah’s acceptance of the Cecile B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement, she said her name.
Now, in a continued push to keep the name of Recy Taylor alive, members of the Congress Black Caucus will wear red pins during President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address later this month, the New York Daily News reports.
“As we commemorate this transformative movement in our nation’s history, we cannot forget the many marginalized women who have spoken up, spoken out and have long been ignored,” CBC member Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.) said in a statement to The Root. “In this effort, we must also acknowledge the inequities in acknowledging our suffering and the failure of [the] judicial system in administering justice.”
Coleman has been instrumental in the push to keep Taylor’s name alive.
“The legitimate exploration of this moment requires an acknowledgement of the ugly truth of our past,” Coleman said in her statement. “At the center of this recent awakening around sexual misconduct is amplifying the voice of victims that we, in some cases, chose not to hear. In order to truly achieve the cultural shift this movement is precipitating we must never forget the rape and abuse of black women as a way of life and, at present, the disparity in justice for the communities who are and have historically been marginalized.”
Coleman is also encouraging CBC members to wear all black as a show of solidarity with women who have been sexually assaulted, according to the Daily News.
Caucus member Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Wis.), who is a survivor of sexual assault, plans to wear all black and a pin on her jacket at the SOTU on Jan.30, the Daily News reports.
“It will serve as a strong message of defiance to those who have and continue to subject women to a toxic masculinity that has plagued our society for far too long,” Moore’s spokesperson, Eric Harris, told the Daily News. “The congresswoman wants them to know that their time is indeed up, from the world of media and entertainment to the halls of government.”
Read more at the New York Daily News.