RECY TAYLOR

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By listener Tara.

In 1944, in a time when Jim Crow south kept Black people in constant fear of all things white people could do to them, Recy Taylor was raped by a group of white men. She was a young woman, married, and with a baby and all she wanted to do was live her life, love her husband, and raise her daughter, instead, she was violated and, based on Jim Crow "norms", she was expected to remain silent about it. That's not how it went. She spoke out against her attackers and she identified them, something so extremely dangerous that it could have left her, her husband, and her daughter dead. The men who raped her were tried but not found guilty. It was unfortunate, she was harassed and threatened the whole time, but she did not back down. A very young Rosa Parks (pre "I am tired and not going to get out of this seat on this bus, I don't care if you arrest me), took notice of what Recy Taylor did and she threw her support behind her, got the NAACP to bring attention to it among other black communities. It was a huge deal -- that she was speaking out against the violations made against her body by white men all because they thought they had the right to do it.She may not have received justice through the courts, but other Black women who were violated started speaking up. Black women started fighting back, and they were the biggest and strongest supporters and fighters of the soon to arrive Civil Rights Movement. Recy Taylor never knew how much of an impact she had on other Black women as time marched forward, she didn't truly know just how inspiring she was to Rosa Parks, she just went back to living her life. The violation of her body resulted in her inability to have more children, she ended up divorced, and lost her daughter at a young age. She outlived her attackers, some of them by decades. She passed away in December 2017 at the age of 97. She was still alive when the documentary about her was being filmed and the makers were able to visit her and speak to her. This is a woman who fought for her body and for her right to live during a time when the simple act of looking at or allegedly whistling at a white person could result in your death (RIP Emmett Till). She outlived Jim Crow and she outlived her rapists. She lived long enough to see a Black President, which is so huge! She fully deserves to be honored as a B-A-B, I just don't know if I actually want to use the last B, so I'll call her a Boss Ass Queen!

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