Okay…I am not going to assume I know what you are thinking. But just in case…Yes, I am an abolitionist. In the month of February, Black History Month, I dedicated 28 days to the men and women of the 19th century abolitionist movement in the United States. It was my way of honoring those who chose to take up the anti-slavery mantel, that I have now chosen to take up. For those that are not familiar with what happened in the 19th century let’s do a quick recap: Slavery. The Underground Railroad. Escaping to Canada. The Compromise of 1850. Civil War. The Emancipation Proclamation. The North won. Jim Crow Laws???
The abolitionist movement of the 19th century was such a crucial and pivotal point in the lives of many slaves and former slaves (who had escaped to the North or purchased their freedom). There was a rise of educators, orators, teachers, writers, and editors whose voices desperately needed to be heard. Slavery was horrific and barbaric…people needed to know this. Thankfully, there were many anti-slavery societies across the country (mainly up North — of course) because the government wasn’t doing enough (or hardly anything at all) to rid slavery as soon as possible. Slavery was abolished in Britain 30 years before the Emancipation Proclamation. So why did it take so long? In one word: Money! Okay…some would argue that it wasn’t all about money. There was States rights, pride of the south, etc etc. But come on…we all know it was mainly about the money. Southern white plantation owners knew that if slaves escaped (or became free) who would tend to their farms and plantations? After all, according to the constitution (at the time) slaves were only three-fifths of a person, so why does it matter about their rights to be free?
I don’t need to belabor the point — slavery as we knew it is over, but elements of oppression still exist in the United States today (that’s for another post). Human Trafficking (which today is known as Modern Day Slavery) has become an entirely different beast that has many people at the helm (anti-slavery organizations across the globe) doing great work. But with the amazing work that is being done, there is still more work to do. While technology (including social media) has played a huge role in how human trafficking is spread, I believe that if we take a look back in our past it can help give us a bit of insight on how to tackle today’s modern day slavery.