Thursday, October 17, 2013


"12 Years A Slave" is a new movie by director Steve McQueen. It tells the true story of Solomon Northup a freeman who in 1841 was snatched off the streets of Washington and sold into slavery.

It is a powerful story and one worth telling. As a reminder we need to know also that slavery still exists in this world today, it has been estimated that 30 million people around the globe are living in conditions termed as modern-day slavery.

Half of this number, 13 to 14 million people, are in the country of India alone and China comes is second with an estimated 3 million people living in slavery. For the Global Slavery Index published by the Australian Walk Free Foundation the term slavery is used to mean:
"The index says the term "slavery" is used mean a variety of conditions, such as forced labor, human trafficking, the sale and exploitation of children, and forced marriage."
In a New York Times movie review of "12 Years A Slave" writer Manohla Dargis notes:
"The genius of “12 Years a Slave” is its insistence on banal evil, and on terror, that seeped into souls, bound bodies and reaped an enduring, terrible price."
I would add to use the present tense when discussing slavery. The Global Slavery Index ranked 162 countries using three factors: "estimated prevalence of modern slavery by population, levels of child marriage, and levels of human trafficking into and out of the country". The United States came in 134th.

There is still much work to be done to abolish slavery off the face of the earth.

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