I just published an essay on the Grio arguing that some of these old rape cases should be reopened so that women like Recy Taylor can finally get justice.
In 2008, the Department of Justice received over $1 million to pursue racially-motivated crimes committed during the Civil Rights era. However, the bill, known as the Emmett Till Unsolved Civil Rights Crime Act, only allowed the Justice Department to investigate “crimes that resulted in a death.” By limiting the scope of the bill, the Justice Department and other organizations focus almost exclusively on racial crimes committed against African-American men—a focus, the New York Times recently noted, that had not yielded significant prosecutions. Unfortunately, the crimes committed against black women during Jim Crow often remain unsolved and worse, unknown. Perhaps Congress should revise the bill and allow the Justice Department to investigate the flipside of lynching and racialized murder: the rape of black women.