Activist Recy Taylor dies at 97

FF2 Media mourns the news today about the death of Recy Taylor, a 97-year-old woman who fought for justice after being raped by six white men in 1944. Director Nancy Buirski detailed Taylor’s journey in this year’s documentary The Rape of Recy Taylor.

From FF2 Media’s review of the documentary: “The documentary paints a vivid picture of who Recy Taylor is wife, mother, sister, sharecropper Christian, survivor. She simply says, ‘The Lord was with me that night.’ Leaving church with friends that hot summer’s night, on September 3, 1944, a car full of white men approached 24-year-old Taylor and kidnapped her at gunpoint. They blindfolded her, drove off and considered killing her. She said she wouldn’t say anything if they let her go. As soon as she was let go, she told. Earlier they’d circled the church several times. The men who raped her claimed that she was a prostitute, although she wasn’t.

Although Taylor’s case is mostly talked about, it also discusses how black women were generally treated. It reveals historical information about the plantation mentality during slavery. White men became of age and were told to pick a black woman to violate. Viewers understand how this behavior never left. Race films which were directed by black filmmakers showed how black women were held in no regard. Black women would buy first class train tickets but would be forcefully removed from the ladies box cars. There were also no restrooms available for them.” Read the full review HERE.

In a recent interview with FF2 Media, director Nancy Buirski reflected on making the documentary, saying “We were just driven to tell it. Her brother was passionate about getting the story out, there was no arm twisting or convincing him to do this. He had worked very closely with Daniel McGuire on this book and he wanted to work equally as close with us on making the film. It’s been, on that level, a very rewarding experience, to get to know the family and work with them so closely. It wasn’t always a rewarding experience to be in Abbeville. Some people were wonderful and very receptive. Others weren’t so wonderful and receptive. It’s a reflection of what we feel are still some of the tension that still exist there.” Read the full interview HERE.

© Brigid K. Presecky & Stephanie A. Taylor (12/29/17) FF2 Media

Photo: The Rape of Recy Taylor

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Brigid Presecky began her career in journalism at Chicago's Goodman Theatre. In 2008, she joined FF2 Media as a part-time film critic and multimedia editor. Receiving her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Bradley University, she moved to Los Angeles where she worked in development, production and publicity for Berlanti Productions, Entertainment Tonight and Warner Bros. Studios, respectively. Returning to her journalistic roots in Chicago, she is now a member of the Chicago Film Critics Association and certified Rotten Tomatoes Film Critic.
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