At the Golden Globe awards ceremony on Sunday night, while accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award for Lifetime Achievement, Oprah Winfrey used her enormous platform and oratory skills to shine light on a little-known historical figure who died at the end of December: Recy Taylor.
Taylor was a black woman who, in 1944, was kidnapped and gang-raped by a group of white men while she was coming home from church. The men threatened to kill her and her family if she told anyone.
But Taylor immediately began sharing exactly what had happened to her, both with her family and local law enforcement. And though there was abundant evidence, the men were never charged. Even so, Taylor pursued the case, risking her life and property.
Taylor’s case caught the attention of the black press and a pre-bus boycott Rosa Parks, then at the NAACP, who came to Taylor’s hometown of Abbeville, Alabama, to advocate for justice. Justice was unfortunately never found.
Filmmaker Nancy Buirski (“The Loving Story”) recently made a documentary about Taylor’s horrific assault and her bravery in speaking out titled “The Rape of Recy Taylor.” The film was released just three weeks before Taylor’s death at the age of 97.
Vulture caught up with Buirski a few days after the Golden Globes to talk about the Oprah effect, the choice she made to use “race films” in her documentary, and her rush to make the film before Taylor’s passing.
Read the story at Vulture.
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