The Rape of Recy Taylor- Film Screening and Discussion

April 29, 2018 - 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

“Recy Taylor, a name I know and I think you should know, too… She lived, as we all have lived, too many in a culture broken by brutally powerful men.”-Oprah Winfrey

Recy Taylor, a 24-year-old black mother and sharecropper, was gang raped by six white boys in 1944 Alabama. Common in Jim Crow South, few women spoke up in fear for their lives. Not Recy Taylor, who bravely identified her rapists. The NAACP sent its chief rape investigator Rosa Parks, who rallied support and triggered an unprecedented outcry for justice.

The film exposes a legacy of physical abuse of black women and reveals Rosa Parks’ intimate role in Recy Taylor’s story. An attempted rape against Parks was but one inspiration for her ongoing work to find justice for countless women like Taylor. The 1955 bus boycott was an end result, not a beginning.

More and more women are now speaking up after rape. Our film tells the story of black women who spoke up when danger was greatest; it was their noble efforts to take back their bodies that led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott and movements that followed.

Free and Open to the Public.
Presented in collaboration with the NAACP of Syracuse and Onondaga County

Planting a flag firmly at the intersection of patriarchy, sexism and white supremacy, The Rape of Recy Taylor is a documentary of multiple layers and marvelous gumption. Full review -Jeannette Catsoulis  The NYTimes


Followed by a discussion with Professor Paula C. Johnson, professor of law at Syracuse University College of Law and Co-Director of the Cold Case Justice Initiative. An interdisciplinary project that engages Syracuse University College of Law faculty and students, the Cold Case Justice Initiative seeks justice for racially motivated murders during the Civil Rights era and beyond on behalf of the victims, their families, local communities, and society at large.


This project is made possible with funds from the Decentralization Program, a regrant program of the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by CNY Arts.