7 ways to end the commercial sexual exploitation of children

7 ways to end the commercial sexual exploitation of children

Introduction  When I wrote a post during Human Trafficking Awareness Month, I was exasperated once again with the “slavery” rhetoric of the trafficking movement (to catch up new readers on my opinion on slavery rhetoric, see the post, The trouble with trafficking). In last month’s post, I dumped the emotional weight of seeing young people every day who are abused and … Continue reading

No room for grief

No room for grief

It is almost Christmas, and my mother is standing in the kitchen, between things. “What am I doing?” her question resounds, but it’s not because she’s forgotten. She looks lost in the room. I’ve never seen her like this before, absent. I hold the shell of her in long hugs when she can’t decide what … Continue reading

The space I occupy

The space I occupy

Spring break 2016 I fold up the pages of case law I’m reading on the C train uptown and put it away as I climb off the train and out of the underground onto a sidewalk in Harlem. I emerge along St. Nicholas park where I used to run on mornings before work on my … Continue reading

reckoning

reckoning

“The enslaved were not bricks on your road, and their lives were not chapters in your redemptive history. They were people turned to fuel for the American machine.” Ta-Nehisi Coates Reckoning The professor says, “I found the ad for my great grandmother sold, the story of a Negro wench, and I dreamed of her alive … Continue reading

Fraud

Fraud

The Hudson River slips calmly by my Harlem apartment, flat in the evenings with the red Western sunsets. A fourteen-year-old trusted me today. She, with her dark hair and terrified eyes, opened up one sentence at a time. Eventually, she asks me if I will be her mom. Her glossy, wide eyes are serious. I … Continue reading

Sexual assault in the media

Sexual assault in the media

There is no one certain way to be a sexual assault survivor and no perfect narrative when it comes to trauma. Even if it seems like dramatic trauma stories are the only way to spotlight the issue, promoting media-created “celebrity stories” can actually hurt outreach to sexual assault survivors and counter healing. Continue reading

The Real “Modern Day Slavery”

The Real “Modern Day Slavery”

The day after human trafficking awareness day (January 11th), the Clinton Global Initiative posted a status with a statistic: “21-36 million people are enslaved worldwide.” I glimpsed the post on the tail end of the Monday that involved a heavy dose of hearing about my girls’ sadness and pain: gang rapes, attacks, black eyes, homelessness, … Continue reading