The Rape of Recy Taylor


At the age of 24, mother, wife, and sharecropper Recy Taylor becomes a victim of gang rape. Attacked by six white men on her walk home from church in 1944 Alabama, Recy, a black woman, promptly identifies the perpetrators to the police, but to no avail—the men are not indicted. Utilizing home video, archival footage, and excerpts from the “race films” of the day—movies created for black audiences and featuring black casts—filmmaker Nancy Buirski weaves facts from that night with old audio of Recy describing the attack and extensive present-day interviews with her brother Robert and sister Alma. Providing rich cultural critique, Crystal Feimster, an associate professor at Yale, discusses Recy’s work with Rosa Parks—then the lead investigator of sexual assault for the NAACP—and the broader impact on the civil rights movement. For Recy, who died in December 2017 at the age of 97, her remaining 73 years brought no justice and further hardship: She lost her family to death and divorce. Her legacy as outlined in this film is a stark call to acknowledge America’s history of sexual assault against black women and to assess how far, or how little, the nation has progressed.  KR

Moderated conversation following screening


Nancy Buirski


Nancy Buirski, Beth Hubbard, Claire L. Chandler, Susan Margolin


Anthony Ripoli


Rex Miller

Release Year


Festival Year



United States

Run Time

91 minutes