When my daughter was in school she participated in National History Day and competed at the regional, state, and national level for five years. She also competed each year in a local history-based film festival for high school students. As a result of attending the many events, we witnessed hundreds of performances, exhibits, websites, and documentaries related to civil rights history. It’s a subject I find interesting, especially since there are so many angles from which to approach the topic. The Rape of Recy focuses on an aspect of civil rights I’ve not seen covered before – the legacy of physical abuse inflicted upon black women.
The Rape of Recy is the story of Recy Taylor, a 24-year-old black mother and sharecropper who was gang raped by six white boys in 1944 Alabama. It was a common occurrence in the Jim Crow South, but what wasn’t so common was that rather than keeping quiet, Recy spoke out and took the local boys to trial. She also got Rosa Parks involved.
I always assumed that Rosa Parks’ bus boycott was the beginning of her activism, but as this movie reveals, it was the result of decades of activist work. After her own attempted rape, Rosa worked tirelessly, often risking her own life to help other women speak out about their assaults.
The Rape of Recy includes interviews with family members, local law officials, and a female historian. They each bring out different aspects of the story. I especially enjoyed the historian. She was able to take the pieces and put them all into context and brought to light the terrors many black women have faced throughout American history.
If you’re looking for a sophisticated, fast-moving documentary, The Rape of Recy is not it. It’s a slow-moving, very simply made documentary. There’s nothing fancy about it. However, it’s been well received with good reason. It’s a powerful story that needed to be told, and you will be impacted by the testimonies shared.
If you’d like to host a live screening, find out how at https://www.therapeofrecytaylor.com/host-a-screening/ With Black History Month in February, Women’s History Month In March and Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April, now is a powerful time to host a screening of The Rape of Recy Taylor.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary screener link in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed are my own.