After years of mistreatment by state-government officials, Recy Taylor, 91, holds her head high in front of the White House during her recent, and first visit to Washington D.C.
“It’s a lot more to see than Abbeville,” she told the Associated Press of the nation’s capital. Taylor attended a forum at the National Press Club about the late Rosa Parks, whose activism sparked her passion to become a field caseworker with the NAACP.
Taylor’s visit to D.C. marks one of the more happy times in her life. A less-jubilant time was about 67-years ago. Taylor, a-then 24-year-old wife, was kidnapped and sexually assaulted by seven white men in her small hometown of Abbeville, Alabama. Both of the all-white grand juries in which the case was tried, refused to indict any of the defendants.
In March, the mayor of Abbeville and officials of her native Henry County apologized to Taylor for the poor handling of the case. Last month, Alabama lawmakers also offered an apology. But when traveling back to Abbeville last weekend on Mother’s Day to visit the church where she was kidnapped years ago, she received a surprise. The state issued a resolution of apology.
"That was a good day to present it to me," she told the AP. "I wasn't expecting that. I didn't know they was going to do it."
Taylor’s granddaughter, Mary Owens, who traveled with her grandmother to Washington, calls Taylor a “hidden hero” and “woman of integrity,” but it may also be fair to add “woman-warrior” to that list.
(Photo: AP Photo/Susan Walsh)