What Had Happened Was Trending stories on the intersections of race, sports & culture

Recy Taylor, subject of new documentary about the rape of black women during Jim Crow, has died

97-year-old was at a nursing home in the same Alabama town where she had been attacked

2:10 PMRecy Taylor, the subject of the new documentary The Rape of Recy Taylor, died Thursday morning at a nursing home in Abbeville, Alabama. She was 97.

Her brother Robert Lee Corbitt, 81, confirmed her death.

‘The Rape of Recy Taylor’ explores the little-known terror campaign against black women

Taylor was one of countless black women who were raped by white men during Jim Crow. In 1944, when she was walking home from church one evening, she was kidnapped, blindfolded and assaulted by six white men. Rosa Parks, working as a local NAACP official, came to Abbeville to agitate for the prosecution of Taylor’s attackers. None of them was ever indicted.

In addition to being the subject of the Nancy Buirski documentary, which debuted this year at the New York Film Festival, Taylor was a central figure in a book by historian Danielle McGuire, 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. McGuire’s book traces how anti-rape activism in the South helped fuel the civil rights movement.

After the attack, Taylor spent most of her adult years in Winter Haven, Florida. Her family moved her back to Abbeville when she was 93 because she began to suffer from dementia.

“She was a Christian all of her life,” Corbitt said by phone Thursday afternoon. “She kept us in church all that time. I live about 500 feet from the church where she was going that night, and I’m also a deacon of that church.”

The church, which in 1944 was called Abbeville Holiness Church, is now called Abbeville Memorial Church of God in Christ.

Taylor raised Corbitt and five other brothers and sisters after their mother died when Corbitt was an infant. She is survived by Corbitt and her two remaining sisters, Mary Murry, 90, and Lillie Kinsey, 94, one granddaughter and several great-grandchildren. Her only daughter, Joyce Lee Taylor, died in a car crash in 1967.

Taylor, Corbitt said, “had a very good life,” but she never recovered emotionally from the attack that took place when she was just 24 years old.

After he retired from working as a building maintenance official in New York, Corbitt said he moved back to Alabama to research what happened to his sister and attempt to obtain some measure of justice for her. Corbitt is one of the primary sources for Buirski’s film. Though she was alive during its filming, Taylor only appears near the end, when Corbitt, whom she called “Baby,” went to visit her in her nursing home.

“She would only talk to me,” Corbitt said. “That’s why I dug at it so hard. After I retired, I devoted myself to getting something done about it. We did get an apology from the state of Alabama.”

Flight attendant makes a blanket statement about G League players

Memphis Hustle players booted from plane after theft accusation, ensuing argument

8:10 AMTwo G League basketball players had a Christmas Eve they will never forget after being kicked off a plane over a blanket.

The incident took place after Memphis Hustle guard Marquis Teague and forward Trahson Burrell boarded American Airlines Flight 3756 operated by Envoy from Dallas to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, on Sunday. Two first-class passengers gave Teague, a former NBA player, and Burrell their blankets as a kind gesture as they headed to their seats. When Teague and Burrell arrived in coach, a flight attendant accused them of stealing the blankets, a source said, which led to an argument.

The flight attendant said he wouldn’t fly unless Teague and Burrell were off the plane after Burrell offered some threatening words. To keep the flight from being delayed, Teague and Burrell were asked to get off the plane. American Airlines ended up putting Teague, Burrell and a Hustle assistant coach on a later flight to Sioux Falls (first class), but they missed a team holiday dinner.

An American Airlines spokesman said an official apologized to the players after the incident and the company plans to apologize again. The team and the airline also plan to investigate the incident further.

“We apologize for what occurred on this flight,” American Airlines spokesman Joshua Freed told The Undefeated. “We take pride in bringing people together, and we know that on this flight we let some of our customers down. Our team at American, along with Envoy Air, is reviewing what happened and will be reaching out to [the two players and the assistant coach].”

Hustle head coach Glynn Cyprien and assistant coach Darnell Lazare expressed their frustration on Twitter. Lazare tweeted that the players were African-American. The flight attendant also appeared to be African-American, the source said.

“American Airlines needs sensitivity training [for] attendants on flights dealing with humans and blankets,” Cyprien wrote.

Lazare wrote: “It’s 2017 and a flight attendant sees two young black athletes with blankets from first class. His first comments is ‘did you steal them.’ How about you teach people the facts first before jumping to conclusions. #beingblackinamerican.”

The Hustle beat Sioux Falls, 131-115, on Monday to end a three-game losing streak.

“We are obviously disappointed the incident occurred and the way American Airlines chose to handle the situation,” Cyprien said. “Today our focus is on the players affected and our Christmas Day game. I am honored to stand by my players and compete on this special day.”

Domonique Foxworth isn’t mad at Brian Bowen’s dad for taking the money. He’s mad more people don’t

Hear him out!

4:01 PMFriday, the news broke that former Louisville recruit Brian Bowen said he was kept in the dark about the alleged payments his father accepted from Adidas and the school to steer him to Louisville. But it doesn’t matter: According to Domonique Foxworth, if his father accepted the money, it was certainly illegal, but not necessarily wrong.

Click the tweet. Watch the video.

Cardi B, Lil Wayne, Gucci Mane and more dropped a slew of new music in one night

Hip-hop must’ve caught the holiday spirit

2:15 PMMaybe it’s because Friday is the last business day before Christmas. Or maybe it’s simply hip-hop caught the holiday spirit. Whatever the reason, Thursday night/Friday morning saw a slew of drops from a who’s who kick-started by Quavo and Travis Scott’s joint project “Huncho Jack, Jack Huncho.” But that was only the tip of the iceberg.

The long-awaited Cardi B second single. If there was any question following the overwhelming success of arguably the single of the year in Cardi’s “Bodak Yellow,” the wait is now over. Featuring 21 Savage, Cardi B returns with the next look into her forthcoming solo album. Complete with Offset mentions galore and a Migos-like flow, expect to hear this at any New Year’s Eve party where hip-hop is played. So, like, 95 percent of them.

A new Gucci Mane album. 2017 was the year Gucci became the pop culture star he seemed destined to be when 2009’s “Wasted” dominated airwaves. “This has been the best year of my life,” he told Zane Lowe earlier this year. And while it may have been for reasons far more than music (a book, new $10 million deal with Atlantic Records and a high-profile wedding), Gucci stayed true to the reason for his season. Guwop and his Tupacian work ethic dropped his third album of ’17 with El Gato: The Human Glacier. Happy holidays, from The Wops, indeed.

Nipsey’s next leg of his “Victory Lap.” If there’s one song I’m anticipating listening to in the whip this weekend, it’s Nipsey Hussle and Swizz Beatz’s new cut, “Been Down.” The Crenshaw OG’s new album, Victory Lap, drops Feb. 16, which coincides with the star of NBA All-Star Weekend in his hometown of Los Angeles.

Lil Wayne’s Dedication 6 preview. Set to drop Christmas Day, Weezy dropped off two sneak peeks last night over Jay-Z’s “Story of OJ.” and 21 Savage’s “Bank Account.” Both are strong offerings from the man who for years had a legit claim to “The Best Rapper Alive,” but it’s the latter where Lil Wayne really flexes. It’s one of the better tracks he’s dropped in quite some time. Maybe 2018 is the year when Tha Carter 5 is released from Cash Money purgatory. Maybe.