Today I begin a new series on the blog, muse. As much as I love fashion and style, being aware of the world, my community and the things that affect society as a whole are very important to me. This is the first of many musings from Kiki X. To learn more about "Kiki X"and why muse is important to me, check the about section of the blog.
Tonight, Stolen Innocence: Your Daughters are Our Daughters, a special program addressing the issue of human trafficking in the United States as well as the abduction of more than 200 female students from their school in Northern Nigeria will premiere on BET. Structured in the format of a town hall, the pre recorded program is moderated by Lola Ogunnaike of Arise TV and Marc Lamont Hill of BET News. Its panel includes actresses Nicole Ari Parker and Tasha Smith, as well as other notable women within the black and international communities, such as Nigerian attorney, Ony Nwaohuocha, and journalist, Omoyele Sowore.
Five weeks have passed since the young Nigerian women were taken by the terror group, Boko Haram. Almost immediately, news of the girls’ abduction garnered press attention with social media serving largely as an incubator of the international demand that they be returned home safely to their families and loved ones.
In the weeks since their disappearance, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram have all been saturated with post boasting the hashtag, #bringbackourgirls, referring to the students. Though the issue of human trafficking has been positioned by many as something that only affects international communities, BET is drawing attention the problem as a domestic one.
According to The Atlanta Human Trafficking Project, Atlanta, G.A. is a global hub of human slavery and is also the “number one hub of human trafficking and child sex exploitation in the in the United States.” The Urban Institute reports that Atlanta, a city known for its Real Housewives and as the center of black wealth, is also home to a $290 million human trafficking industry.
Smith, who has starred in films such as Tyler Perry’s Daddy’s Little Girls and Why Did I Get Married spoke candidly during the discussion of her past as a stripper and being sexually exploited as a child, saying in part, “As a young girl growing up in an urban community, it was nothing but drug dealers and pimps, and I remember pimps when I a at 14-years-old, these men were taking me out to dinner and having sex with me and in my own mind I’m thinking ‘I’m getting love, I’m getting attention’... I didn’t realize that I was like prey.”
Stolen Innocence airs tonight at 7 p.m.(EST) and I am interested to see the dialogue that transpires during and from the one-hour program.