Global Statics show that there are over 40.3 million men , women, and children who are victims of modern day slavery world wide. Two weeks ago footage from the slave trade in Libya went viral and has brought awareness to this atrocity. The widespread outrage from the world has caused officials and the United Nations to further investigate this criminal matter. There's footage of hundreds of people on boats stuck in the Mediterranean Sea. Thousands have died trying to escape and few rescue boats are being sent. The harsh reality that this slave trade is real and has been going on for years is not only heart breaking and mind boggling , but it leaves you in a place wondering how can you help ? Hearing these three words "I was sold" just brings about unexplainable emotion. The images that were seeing today look similar to pictures of the past. Your heart doesn't want to believe that what your seeing is actually happening.
In some cases parents sell children due to lack of financial stability. In other cases people are promised education, money, or a better life and none of it is true. Its all a ploy to capture more slaves and use them for labor, sex, drug mules, and other cruel reasons. Girls, women, and children are constantly sold , abused, and kept in terrible conditions . In some cases males are castrated and women are mutilated. Its overall sickening and unbelievable.
European Countries are trying to block Libyan citizens from entering the country and are policing the waters. Those that are captured are detained in inhumane detention centers. The victims feel that if they leave Libya they can escape being beaten , raped, killed or sold again. This is no way for people to live. Families are torn apart . This is not fake, this is indeed very real. Forced labor , human trafficking , mass incarceration and forced marriages are all forms of slavery. It is reported that there are more female slaves than males and one in four victims are children. Although there are slaves all around the world, the statistics in Africa are the highest. You can find out more about the statistics on www.alliance87.org.
You can help by continuing to raise awareness, donate, support relief efforts, pray and visit www.aidforafrica.org , www.who.int and Buzzfeed whom has listed more ways to help. This issue can not just get swept under the rug. Celebrities and people from across the globe have shared their thoughts about the slave trade on social media . Continue to research and share information that you come across. We can't forget about them. Some of the footage below is hard to watch, but its even harder for them to live through.
Dr.Martin Luther King Jr., once said "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter". It has come to point where we can no longer be silent and just continually accept the disrespect, the discrimination, the inequality, and injustice. It is time to speak up and take action . Tomorrow from 3:00 P.M - 8:00 P.M Blackout for Human Rights and the Campaign for Black Male Achievement will host “MLK Now". This special day will honor the life of Dr.Martin Luther King Jr, (although we should honor his legacy everyday). However this celebration is to honor his visions, his words, his dedication, and his social impact on the world. The event will take place at Harlem’s Riverside Church , where Dr. King performed his famous 1967 speech “Beyond Vietnam: A Time To Break Silence” (and indeed it is time to break silence). Aren't you tired of hearing about African American men and women being killed by police and each other? Aren't you tired of the lack of acknowledgment of African American art in the industry that could have a great impact on today's youth? What about the unfair treatment of African American American women, men, in work school, and the entertainment industry ? There are so many things we are tired of and it's time for it to stop and for a positive change to come. United Black Out has gathered together some very successful celebrities and influential figures to speak and perform at this #MLKNow event including Comedian/Actor Chris Rock, Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer, Multi talented actor Michael .B.Jordan, Tony Award Winner Anika Noni Rose, Actress Tessa Thompson, the phenomenal Harry Belafonte, India Arie and more. There will be performances from Grammy Nominated artist Bilal. There will be a panel discussion about human rights issues, police violence, racial and social injustice, economic equality, the complex prison industry, and political mobilization. Panelist include the incredible Director Ryan Coogler, Grammy nominated motivational artist J.Cole, Black Lives Matter Co Founder and Black Alliance for Just Immigration Executive Director Opal Tometi. Arab American Association of New York Executive Director Linda Sarsour, Million Hoodies Movement for Justice, Executive director Dante Barry , and actor Leon Ford Jr. The Blackout movement is strong and influential. The organization consist of film makers, music artist, entertainers, spiritual leaders, and educators, and citizens who want to share their collective resources to improve Human Rights. Black Out members include Ryan Coogler, Michael B. Jordan, Charles King, Nate Parker, rapper Donald “Childish Gambino” Glover, Director Ava DuVernay, Jesse Williams, John Burris, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Rosa Clemente, Michael McBride, Shaka King, Scott Budnick, David Oyelowo, Pastor Michael McBride and others. Don't miss the event. Doors open at 3:00 P.M .
Tickets for the event are free and can be found (here) . For Updates follow @UnitedBlackOut and @BMAchievement using the hashtag #mlkNOW and #CBMA .
Huge thank you to VICE whom will be streaming the event live for those who can not attend. So make sure you tune into the stream below at 3PM
It's time #MLKNOW