12 Years a Slave took me about a month to work through. When I say work, I mean work. It’s not an easy read; the narrative is complex, there are lots of characters involved and the shocking reality is hard to handle. However, the last few chapters really hit home for me.
Solomon Northup ends his narrative not declaring that we should all despise slave drivers, but that what he re-told is as close to true as it could ever be, what we decide to think and feel is up to us. I appreciate that and I understand that reasoning.
Why? Because despite how many people read the book or watch the film and are disgusted by what’s portrayed, there will still be a significant amount of people out there that are still inflicting hurt, pain and suffering on people they “deem” inferior to themselves. Slavery is not something that only happened in America during the Slave Trade. It’s not something that only happens in Developing Countries, it happens everywhere, unsuspectingly.
They say there are more people in slavery today than there have been in all the years gone by. That, ladies and gentlemen, works out to be almost 30 million people being treated like they don’t belong
Rape, trafficking, child abuse, bonded labour, starvation, ethnic cleansing, forced marriage and forced labour are all a removal of the right to freedom. A right that was given to all men and women almost 70 years ago now. 12 Years a Slave couldn’t be more relevant. I suggest if you haven’t already, read, watch it and make your own opinions.
The most painful thing is that there is very little we can do besides acknowledging the horrid fact.
For those of you that can afford to, you can donate to the following charity and attempt to help those in need – http://www.notforsalecampaign.org/empower/
And for the rest of you, all you can do is keep smiling and treat everybody in the loveliest way possible. There is more than enough hatred in the world already – don’t add to it.