Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Recy Taylor experienced the worst of living under Jim Crow law.

Nearly 70 years ago, in the small town of Abbeville, Alabama, a young woman named Recy Taylor experienced the worst of living under Jim Crow law. In 1944, Recy was gang raped by a group of men –– her neighbors. 
 
Rosa Parks and the NAACP fought on Recy's behalf to send her attackers to prison. But because Recy was black and the assailants were white, her rapists never even faced trial, let alone jail time, even though they confessed to raping her.
Yesterday, after emails from over 6,000 Change.org members, Abbeville Mayor Ryan Blalock and Alabama State Rep. Dexter Grimsley made personal apologies to Recy and her family for the failure to prosecute her attackers. Now it's time for the city of Abbeville and state of Alabama to follow suit.
Recy is now 91 years old, and all she wants is for her story to be recognized. For the state that denied her justice to admit that it did wrong. "The sheriff never even said he was sorry it happened. I think more people should know about it … but ain't nobody saying nothing," Recy said.
Recy's brother, Robert Corbitt, has spent the last decade of his retirement searching for the facts of the case and seeking justice for Recy. He started a petition on Change.org requesting an apology to his sister from the city of Abbeville and the state of Alabama. 
Rep. Grimsley –– an Abbeville native himself –– has vowed to introduce a resolution in the House calling for Alabama to apologize to Recy and all the black women like her whose stories were hushed and names were slandered. 
Tell the Alabama state legislature to support Rep. Grimsley's apology resolution -- it's time for us to stand up for Recy and for Alabama to apologize for letting her down.
Thanks for taking action,
- Shelby and the Change.org team