Before 1959 white men were never found guilty or charged for raping African American women. It wasn’t until Betty Jean Owens was brutally attacked against her will and raped multiple times by four white men. These four white men were found guilty and sentenced to life at the end of the Owens trial. Not only was this a random rape act but, these men admitted to starting out their night to find an African American women to rape.
Betty and her friends, who happened to be students at Florida A&M University, were enjoying their nights when they were stopped at gun-point by four white men to get out of the car and obey them. One of the four white men, Scarborough had the two African American men that were in the car leave which then left the four white men with only the two girls in the car, Betty Owens and Edna Richardson.
Edna surprisingly got away from the men and left her friend Betty alone with the four white men attackers who then led her to another part of town and raped her seven different times. The four men were to the point of thinking that the rape was a joke and since no cases had been found guilty before this one, the men even admitted on paper that they brutally beat Owens and raped her because they thought they would never be punished for it.
This caused as uproar at the trial with hundreds of students rallying and marching at protests about the abduction. The students were so powerful that even Martin Luther King got involved. Comparing the uproar and support of those students to today’s society, I think our younger generation does still have a stronger stance and voice on what happens in the world today and people are starting to listen; especially when it comes to these hard to hear topics like rape.
Like most rallies when people are seen on campuses or even social media or in the news, everyone tends to want to know what is going on and has an opinion on that topic. In my opinion, I believe that “it was like all of us had been raped” can be related to today’s society’s line of “it doesn’t matter what you’re wearing or how skimpy or how long your clothing is, anyone can be raped.” Quotes like these send such strong and powerful messages that I think people are suddenly listening to the rape victims saying them.