Rep. Watson Coleman To Bring Niece of Recy Taylor to State of the Union

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Washington, D.C., January 26, 2018 | comments

Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman announced today that she will bring Rose Gunter, niece of Recy Taylor, as her guest to the State of the Union address. Ms. Gunter was Taylor’s caregiver until she passed away last year at the age of 97.

 “I am honored that Rose will be joining me for the State of the Union as many members of the Democratic Caucus will be paying tribute to her aunt. Ms. Taylor’s story represents that of many marginalized women who have spoken up, spoken out and have long been ignored. The transformative movement that’s happening in this country around sexual misconduct must include amplifying the voices of victims that we, in some cases, chose not to hear. Beyond her terrifying experience, Ms. Taylor, herself, is a representation of the many communities this Administration has chosen to leave behind.”

 Watson Coleman is leading members of the Congressional Black Caucus and members of the Democratic Caucus in wearing red pins in memoriam of Recy Taylor. Taylor was abducted and raped while walking home from work in Alabama in 1944. Taylor reported her attack, but her assailants were never brought to justice. In 2011, the Alabama Legislature apologized to Taylor, calling the failure to prosecute her attackers “morally abhorrent and repugnant.” Taylor’s story rose to national news following Oprah Winfrey’s Golden Globes speech while accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award. This effort is in conjunction with members wearing black to the State of the Union address in solidarity with those seeking economic security and a cultural shift that enables men and women to work side by side in safety and dignity, free of sexual harassment, and paid fairly for the value of their work.


Watson Coleman is the first black women elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from the State of New Jersey. In 2016, Watson Coleman co-founded the first ever Congressional Caucus on Black Women & Girls - the first caucus devoted to public policy that eliminates the significant barriers and disparities experienced by Black women.

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