Modern Day Slavery is Hidden in Plain Sight
By Mia Simms
When you hear the phrase “modern day slavery” what do you think about? Most young people find it hard to believe that slavery still exists, and they may only associate it with human trafficking. As foreign as it may seem, slavery is very common and still alive today in many countries including the United States.
The Exquisite Eta Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. presented a program March 29 to inform Bowie State University students of modern day slavery. At the program, the organizers showed a documentary of a global investigation in Africa, India, Asia, Great Britain and the United States.
Slavery usually occurs in poverty stricken areas, according to the documentary. Without pay, young boys in India are kidnapped and forced to make rugs. In Africa, young men are tricked and lured into working on cocoa plantations by masters who tell them they have candy. The young men are told they would be paid but once far away from their homes they are not. If anyone tries to escape they are be beaten and sometimes killed.
With these horrible events occurring on foreign soil, few Americans think that modern day slavery could happen here, according to the documentary. In America, domestic slavery is very common, yet unnoticed. That’s where human trafficking takes place. Slavery is still alive. The question posed by the members of Alpha Kappa Alpha was “how can it be stopped?”
At the end of the documentary the members of Alpha Kappa Alpha asked the audience who was aware of this and not a hand was raised. Now that more people are informed maybe something will be done to stop Modern Day Slavery, organizers said.
“Knowledge is power, a lot of people that came to the program had no idea what was going on right down the street from us,” said Jasmine Nixon, president of Eta Chapter. “I feel like the easiest way to really impact modern day slavery and to really make a difference is to know to really understand what’s going on so we can make a difference.”
Alpha Kappa Alpha tries to host programs at least once a month to inform others of world issues as well as issues in the community. The sorority’s messaged appeared to be getting through.
“I am really glad that I came to this program,” said BSU senior Brittney Lewis. “It was very informative. It makes me want to really make a difference.”