18 Jan USA TODAY | Who is Recy Taylor? A look at the woman Oprah mentioned in her Golden Globes speech
Speaking backstage at the Golden Globe Awards, Oprah Winfrey says the ‘Time’s Up’ movement isn’t just for the privileged, it’s for every “culture, race, religion, politic or workplace.” AP
Oprah Winfrey made it clear she wants us to know this name: Recy Taylor.
The recipient of the Cecil B. DeMille Award mentioned Taylor during her powerful acceptance speech at the Golden Globes Sunday — But who is she?
Taylor was an African American woman from Abbeville, Alabama who was abducted and raped on her way home from a church in 1944 by six armed white men when she was 24 years old..
The incident was eventually reported to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, who gave the case to Rosa Parks, the activist and civil rights icon best known for refusing to give up her seat on a segregated bus in 1955. With segregation and inequality working against them, however, Taylor’s attackers were never prosecuted.
According to The New York Times, two all-white, all-male grand juries refused to indict the men despite one of them confessing, which was the case with many incidents involving black victims during the Jim Crow era in the South.
Taylor, whose story was an early catalyst for the civil rights movement, died on December 28, 2017 at age 97.
In her speech, Winfrey drew a parallel between the society Taylor lived in with society today, using her story as an example of why change is necessary.
“She lived, as we all have lived, too many years in a culture broken by the brutally powerful men,” she said.