At the 2018 Golden Globe Awards Sunday night, Oprah Winfrey was honored with the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement. During her acceptance speech, Winfrey brought the Golden Globes crowd to its feet with a powerful speech where she called out sexual harassers around the world: “Their time is up.”
In her speech, Winfrey told the story of Abbeville, Ala.-native Recy Taylor, a black civil rights activist who died late last month just days before her 98th birthday. Taylor was raped by a group of white men in Alabama in 1944.
The horrific incident ultimately led her spearhead an anti-rape activism movement in the Jim Crow South. With the help of Rosa Parks — who was assigned the case by the NAACP — Taylor took on her attackers in court where two all-white, all-male grand juries decline to indict the men who admitted to authorities that they assaulted her.
“Recy Taylor died 10 days ago. She lived too many years in a culture broken by brutally powerful men. Women were not believed,” Winfrey said, before adding to the abusive men, “their time is up.”
Read the transcript of the segment of Winfrey’s speech mentioning Taylor:
And there’s someone else, Recy Taylor, a name I know and I think you should know, too. In 1944, Recy Taylor was a young wife and mother walking home from a church service she’d attended in Abbeville, Alabama, when she was abducted by six armed white men, raped, and left blindfolded by the side of the road coming home from church. They threatened to kill her if she ever told anyone, but her story was reported to the NAACP where a young worker by the name of Rosa Parks became the lead investigator on her case and together they sought justice. But justice wasn’t an option in the era of Jim Crow. The men who tried to destroy her were never persecuted. Recy Taylor died ten days ago, just shy of her 98th birthday. She lived as we all have lived, too many years in a culture broken by brutally powerful men. For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dare speak the truth to the power of those men. But their time is up. Their time is up.Their time is up. And I just hope — I just hope that Recy Taylor died knowing that her truth, like the truth of so many other women who were tormented in those years, and even now tormented, goes marching on. It was somewhere in Rosa Parks’ heart almost 11 years later, when she made the decision to stay seated on that bus in Montgomery, and it’s here with every woman who chooses to say, “Me too.” And every man — every man who chooses to listen.