" Many years ago, while sitting in an English class in high school, I vowed to myself that if I had lived during the time when slavery was “real" I wouldn’t have been part of the silent white majority. I would have done something. "
When you grow up in the western world, at some point in your education you will learn about slavery. You will learn about how horrible and destructive it was, how many lives it affected, and probably about how it was abolished.
But you may not learn that even though it’s been abolished, it still exists.
In fact, there are more slaves today than any other time in history.
I just never imagined how real it would become for me.
I come from an awesome family. I grew up in the suburbs and was surrounded by people that loved me. However, I made a lot of wrong choices in high school, and found myself pregnant when I was 18. Quinn was my first child. He was beautiful and perfect to me, but his heart was not working properly from birth. After only five short months he passed away.
I was devastated beyond words.
In an effort to try to heal my heart, I went to stay with family friends in the Bay Area in California. Every day I would walk and try to get my head together.
One day, while walking, I was stopped by a good looking guy. He was well dressed, had a fancy car and as he drove me around a rougher neighbourhood, he pointed out all the homes of the girls he “takes care of”.
I listened to him as he told me the sad story of his life. He made it clear he was very interested in me. He claimed that he worked in the music industry and that he was going to be famous one day soon. He gave me gifts and made me feel beautiful and desirable. Finally, he agreed to drop me back off at my house after I promised to return with my best friend - who he had inquired about to see if she was as pretty as me.
The whole experience didn’t sit right with me but life moved on. Years later, after getting married and having a family, I began to research human trafficking more. I discovered something called “befriending” - the process that a pimp grooms a girl to work for him, but without the option of getting out.
I was stunned.
Trafficked people aren’t “those people”. They aren’t “those girls”.
They are people like me and maybe you or someone you love.
I am that girl.
I couldn’t stay silent. I had to raise my voice in the way that I knew how.
That’s how Freedom Culture was born.