Recy Taylor was on her way home after an evening of singing and praying at her church in Abbeville, Alabama, when seven white men, armed with knives and shotguns, ordered the young mother into their vehicle, raped her, and left her for dead.
After learning what took place, the president of the local NAACP branch sent his best investigator, Rosa Parks, to Abbeville.
That’s the basis for “At the Dark End of the Street: Black Women, Rape and Resistance — A New History of the Civil Rights Movement from Rosa Parks to the Rise of Black Power,” by writer and historian, Danielle McGuire.
Her debut book tells the story of Taylor and how civil rights leader Rosa Parks launched a movement that exposed a history of sexual violence against black women, further igniting a growing call for change.
McGuire said she was inspired to write her book following a radio segment that sparked her interest in researching cases of white men attacking black women throughout the Deep South and the campaigns that were launched as a result.
McGuire said she hopes readers of her book will learn that rape and resistance to rape sits at the core of the modern civil rights movement.
“Black women’s struggles for dignity, respect and bodily integrity were crucial to the freedom struggle and their testimonies against sexual harassment, violence and rape … served as catalysts for civil rights campaigns,” McGuire said.
McGuire is a distinguished lecturer for the Organization of American Historians and is currently working on a book about the 1967 murders of three young black men at a Detroit motel. To learn more about the author please visit her online at daniellemcguire.com.
“At the Dark End of the Street” is available for $27.95 (hardcover), $16.95 (paperback), and $14.99 (ebook) at all major book stores and online book sites.