Update 5/8/11: Recy Taylor was presented with an official state apology resolution, passed by the Alabama legislature and signed by the governor, at an Abbeville church on Mother's Day! Now the campaign turns its focus to the city level apology.
Nearly 70 years ago, Recy Taylor was gang-raped at gunpoint. Her attackers admitted to kidnapping and raping her. And nothing was ever done about it.
As a young African-American woman living in Abbeville, Alabama, in 1944, when Jim Crow laws institutionalized discrimination against black people, her hopes of legal redress were slim. Though Taylor's cause gained international attention through the efforts of a well-known civil and human rights activist, Rosa Parks, she couldn't force racist and sexist law enforcement in Abbeville to take action.
Today, Recy Taylor's name and story have been swept under the rug and go largely unrecognized in America. "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," Taylor lamented in an interview with The Root.
Her brother, Robert Corbitt, has spent the last decade of his retirement searching for information on her case and seeking a long-delayed justice, after Taylor broke down into tears while telling him about the gang rape 55 years after the fact. "I'd like a public apology from the city of Abbeville and the state of Alabama," Corbitt asks, and Taylor agrees that this simple measure represents the least that could be done, after police took the lead in covering up the horrific assault against her.
Help Recy Taylor get the apology she deserves and public recognition of the injustice perpetrated by signing this petition to Abbeville Mayor Ryan Blalock and the City Concil Members.
Photo credit: Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP