A South Carolina restauranteur, Bobby Paul Edwards, was sentenced to prison after admitting he used violence, threats, and intimidation to force a black man, Chris Smith, to work more than 100 hours a week with no pay in a stunning case of throwback slavery.
Yesterday, Gold Bond spokesperson Shaquille O’Neal tweeted about a new contest titled “Shaqtoons,”which sounds like, essentially, a spec contest for animators for the chance to have their work featured on Shaq’s upcoming TNT docuseries Shaq Life,which was ordered by the network back in May. The catch? For any animator who doesn’t want to be completely taken advantage of, it was a pretty terrible idea.
In particular, writer Nikole Hannah-Jones provoked controversy when she asserted:
She noted that “10 of this nation’s first 12 presidents were enslavers,” undermining claims that the country was founded as a democracy. She also pointed out that the founders were themselves actively conflicted about the contradiction of slavery persisting in a country supposedly founded on freedom. Thomas Jefferson, she said, even included a passage in a draft of the Declaration of Independence that tried to claim that the institution “wasn’t the colonists’ fault,” instead placing the blame on King George.
Ellen Craft’s mother was an enslaved woman of African descent and some European ancestry, Maria, in Clinton, Georgia. Her father was the enslaver of her mother, Major James Smith. Smith’s wife did not like Ellen’s presence, as she resembled Major Smith’s family. When Ellen was eleven years old, she was sent to Macon, Georgia, with a daughter of the Smith’s, as a wedding gift to the daughter.
Ghost Fleet is a gripping new documentary about modern-day slaves in the Thai fishing industry. The film delves into the sordid labor practices of an industry that supplies the United States, Europe, and Asia with seafood, but it does so by focusing on the compelling work of Bangkok-based Patima Tungpuchayakul, an abolitionist who has devoted her life to helping “lost” men return home. She works with a former slave, Tun Lin, who was kidnapped when he was 14 and forced to fish without pay for 11 years. Together, they visit remote islands in Southeast Asia, where captive men have lived for years—never seeing their families until Tungpuchayakul and her team show up and free them.
A woman involved in an alleged sex cult and who pleaded guilty last week to conspiracy charges has also admitted keeping a slave locked in a room for more than two years.
“I knowingly and intentionally harbored Jane Doe 4, a woman whose identity is known to me, in a room in the home in the Northern District of New York,” Lauren Salzman told Brooklyn federal court Judge Nicholas Garaufis last week, according to newly unsealed court transcripts quoted by the New York Post.
Pope Francis, whose papacy has been marked by efforts to quell a global crisis over sexual abuse of children by Catholic clergy, said on Tuesday he was committed to stopping the abuse of nuns by priests and bishops, some of whom had used the women as sex slaves.
Anthropologist and author Jason Hickel swiftly disabused readers of a narrative offered by Microsoft founder Bill Gates this week, rejecting the billionaire’s statement on Twitter that “people underestimate just how much life has improved over the last two centuries.”
The idea that the free-market capitalism has grown while solving the crisis of extreme poverty around the world may be tempting for some to embrace, Hickel wrote in the Guardian—but it is “completely wrong.”