by Shamere McKenzie
I remember sitting in church on New Year’s Eve, hearing my Pastor say, “It was on this night, 150 years ago, that slaves sat patiently waiting to hear the verdict of their freedom.” I immediately started to think about when I was enslaved. Enslaved, in 2005, in an America that is now celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Proclamation of the Emancipation. Enslaved, even though slavery was abolished under the 13th Amendment in 1865.
Here I was in church, seven years after surviving 18 months of extreme torture – in every sense of the word. I began thinking of the slavery that still exists in the 21st century. The slavery many people don’t talk about, as it is a “hidden crime,” even though it is in our own backyards. The slavery where human beings are illegally traded and exploited for commercial sex; where human beings are severely beaten, raped, and sodomized. Here I was thinking about modern day slavery – human trafficking. My mind and my heart began to battle. Here I was, free, but some girl somewhere was still enslaved by the hands of a pimp that our society glamorizes. I ask you: do you really know what a “pimp” is?