26 Mar
Posted by Obiora N. Anekwe

To date, human trafficking is the third largest international crime industry, followed by illegal drugs and arms trafficking. It reportedly generates $32 billion in profit for traffickers each year. In the United States, 50 percent of the people being trafficked are children. According to the U.S. Department of State, about 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year, 80 percent are female. These victims are often forced into prostitution, slavery (involuntary servitude), or compelled to commit sex acts on camera for illegal pornographic  video distribution and sale.

These statistics are alarming and overwhelming to many, but more real than fictitious to those who are directly affected by human trafficking, slave labor, and prostitution. Since last year’s kidnapping of hundreds of Nigerian girls by the terrorist organization, Boko Haram, little attention has been given to how international trafficking of African girls speaks to the heart of immoral behavior by wealthy European men who have the money and power to perpetuate the continued enslavement of African girls. Although organizations such as Boko Haram and ISIS participate in human trafficking in order to fund terrorist activities, they simply serve as “the middle man” in the underage prostitution of young African girls who are now the new slave labor force around the world.

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06 Mar
Posted by Obiora N. Anekwe

In an award acceptance speech earlier this year at the Seventh Annual Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon, Academy Award–winning actress Lupita Nyong'o, spoke about the global issue of skin bleaching within the black community. She won the award for her role as Patsey in the remarkable movie, 12 Years a Slave. During the luncheon, Lupita read a letter from a black woman who stated that she wanted to use singer Dencia's Whitenicious cream to lighten her skin when Lupita, in her own words, “appeared on the world map and saved me” (Essence Magazine, 2014).

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