What is slavery? What does it mean to be a slave? Why does slavery exist today and why did it exist in the past? What can be done to end it? These are important questions, and this book aims to answers them. Across the world today, more than 40 million persons are living as modern slaves. Their number is equivalent to the enslavement of the entire population of several U.S. states. The plight of these individuals is imposed on them by the existence of modern slavery, a practice otherwise known as human trafficking. Yet slavery is not new to the world and the voices of the past have much to share. This book starts with an exploration of historical slavery in the antebellum United States. It draws upon the wisdom of former slaves such as Frederick Douglass, Harriet Ann Jacobs, and Solomon Northup; as well as abolitionists such as Harriet Beecher Stowe and Theodore Dwight Weld; and even slavery’s past advocates such as Edmund Ruffin and David Christy; to present a single perspective of slavery and its slaves. This book then extends its range to incorporate present-day realities, before using what has been learned to challenge some governmental approaches. book is written for citizen and legislator alike. It is written for those who are students and for those who are teachers. It will be of assistance to those who find themselves struggling amidst the debate over modern slavery and human trafficking, trying to reconcile seemingly irreconcilable claims. It strives to challenge ideas about slaves and their slavery, and to challenge some of the conditions that give rise to both. In as much as it aims to make sense of slavery it strives to empower the reader, and through empowerment it hopes the reader will come to find their own role in efforts to end it.
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