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What Are The Recy Pins At The State Of The Union? It's A Subtle, Remarkable Protest


There are a myriad protests expected to accompany Trump's first State of the Union Address. Caucus on Black Women and Girls founder Bonnie Watson Coleman has her own approach. She ordered 200 red pins for the big night, and we can't help but ask," What are these recy pins?"

The pins are a tribute to Recy Taylor, a black woman who in 1944 was kidnapped and raped by six white men in Alabama. The men never were jailed and Taylor never received justice. Following her recent death on Dec. 28, 2017, many have spoken up about the racial injustices facing society today, especially in regards to black women. Oprah discussed Taylor's story in her 2018 Golden Globes speech.

On Jan. 10 Bonnie Watson Coleman emailed her colleagues at the C.B.C with the idea of sporting the red pins on their clothing for the upcoming State of Union Address. The red pins are adorned with the name "Recy" as a nod to Taylor. Since introducing the idea, Coleman and her team ordered 200 pins in order to increase the visibility of sexual assault on black women, a topic too often ignored by the public. While the pins are clearly a nod to Recy Taylor, there also a clear statement to the president: that Coleman and her fellow colleagues do not adhere to Trump's beliefs or presidency.

Though many plan to protest Trump's State of the Union address, Coleman plans to attend the event with Recy Taylor's niece and past caregiver Rose Gunter. In addition, Taylor's granddaughter Mary Joyce Owens will be attending the State of the Union as the guest of Alabama Representative Terri Sewell.

Doreen St. Felix, a reporter for The New Yorker, spoke to Coleman about the pins, her fight against the Trump administration, and her intention of introducing Taylor's story to the oblivious public.

Coleman said,

Red is power and black is beautiful. Here's to hoping 2018 proves to be a space where all voices are heard and all people are treated equally.

Editor's note: This article has been updated to fix an incorrectly written year.