Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Slavery in Brick City? WTF

I guess some African people can't keep the slave trade out of their lineage. Have you heard about the recent conviction of Akouavi Afolabi; her husband, Lassissi Afolabi; and their son, Dereck Hounakey for trafficking and human imprisonment of 20 girls? It is estimated that they pilfered $4 million dollars for their slave operations.

They weren't forced into prostitution. They were enslaved to hustle Yaki #9, corn rows, micro-braids and Senegalese twists.

Now I know that the masses of African people did not participate in the shipping of their brothers and sisters across the Atlantic, but this report of young Ghanaian and Togolese girls being forced into servitude in Brick City shows that the Afolabi's and their "son" learned very well from their European colonizers. The trade of human flesh and free labor is the biggest business of good ole Westernized capitalism.

If you got your hair braided here, you supported slavery

It is really easy to integrate the women in the brading industry in Brick City. Let me give you a layout of Newark's downtown area, and the surrounding East Orange and Irvington. African braiding shops are on every corner like a liquor store and a store front church.

For the last 15 - 20 years, African shops have dominated in the braiding industry, but their reputations are split. On one hand they are cheap and out-priced the traditional African-American braiders who still charge exponentially.

On the other hand, African shops have the notoriety of being unkempt and down right filthy. I am so glad I didn't get my hair braided in Newark this summer. I damn-near gagged @ the filth in braid shops. Roaches dropping of the ceiling.

Oh, but I did walk out of an African-American shop that smelled like old corn pone and chitterlings. My people, my people.

Sorry I deviated. This legal case I hope will put a dent in a modern-day slave practice that I know is not unique in the Afolabi case. I suggest that they are examples of a sophisticated system that exists like the restaveks of Haiti, the Cameroonian servants in Maryland & Virginia or the Russian mail-order brides.

I think Imma stick to getting my doo done by Mama Nene @ Good Fred's La Rutan.

But damn, bad old slave practices die hard. As a matter of fact, they never died. Why we gotta be like that?

And I chuckle with dismay as the announcer shockingly talks about slavery in America. How can that be, slavery in America? My oh my, how amnesia plagues us.

3 ish talking intellectuals holla at a sista:

Joanna said...

I think things like this happen more often than you know. With immigrants from all over the world. Not all cases are quite as extreme, but if you go to any Chinese restaurant, for example, in NY, the employees are paid virtually nothing, and they are forced to work long hours, just about every day. And they live in the basements of the restaurant owner, or in apartments with 10-15 people living inside. I never tip at Chinese restaurants because I know that the employees are not allowed to keep any of the money, it goes straight to the owner. This case is more severe, particularly because of the length of time, but varying degrees of slavery happen in almost all immigrant communities.

Reggie said...

The evil that men do.....and women never surprises me anymore.

It's sad, but I'm never surprised to hear of such things.

Eco.Soul.Intellectual said...

I agree with you Joanna. This is only one ripple in many.