Brave Recy Taylor, who made headlines in 1944 after she reported being gang-raped, has died on Thursday just three days before her 98th birthday. The Africa-American woman died peacefully in a nursing home in Abbeville.
Taylor endured pain and humiliation by coming forward to expose 6 men who kidnapped, gang-raped her, then left her on the side of the road. Her courage, those years back, when it was hard for victims to speak up, is believed to have birthed the #MeToo movement today, with women boldly coming forward against their abusers. The 1944 incident was reported to the police and then brought to the NAACP, despite the fact that the men, who were armed, threatened to kill her if she spoke of the incident. After a longstanding fight against the system and two investigations, Taylor’s attackers were never charged. This was at the peak of the Jim Crow Era, nearly 11 years before Rosa Parks’ historical refusal to give up her seat. Parks led the investigation on Taylor’s case, NBC reports.
Although Taylor never received justice for the attack, she received widespread acclamation for her courage and dignity. However, according to reports, almost 67 years after the incident, Alabama lawmakers issued an apology to the brave woman “for its failure to prosecute her attackers.”
“[She was] a brave woman and a fighter who tried her best to get it known all over the world,” Taylor’s brother told NBC News.