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Douglass descendant comes to Brockport

by Isaac Deleon - Copy Editor
Tue, Oct 3rd 2017 09:00 pm

Amidst growing racial tension across the nation, this is an increasingly important time to come together and try to communicate understanding. This is done by educating and talking about the past. On Thursday, Oct. 5, at 7:30 p.m., The College at Brockport’s Department of History is scheduled to host a lecture at the McCue Auditorium in the Liberal Arts Building. The conversation will focus on Antebellum-era antislavery as well as the current fight against human trafficking. 

Robert J. Benz will host the event along with Kenneth B. Morris Jr., who is a relative of Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington. It is not everyday that students get to hear from the actual relatives of such prominent figures in history figures who were crucial in the fight against slavery. These men spent their lives fighting for those of African Americans in the United States and all over the world. Now they’re distant relative is fighting today to do the same.

The two want to speak on Pre-Civil War America and the Abolitionist’s fight against slavery. These were turbulent times with many critical moments in history taking place at the same time. Industrialization began booming in the northern states, and cotton became the cash crop of the south. These factors contributed to a large amount of  conflict in the country that is still being resolved today. 

Many times, people do not place slavery into a similar category as human trafficking. There is also confusion as to what human trafficking is in this day and age, and how it still impacts society. However, that does not erase the thousands of individuals who are still fighting for their lives on a daily basis. 

According to dictionary.com, human trafficking is defined as “the illegal practice of procuring or trading in human beings for the purpose of prostitution, forced labor, or other forms of exploitation.” Human trafficking can be seen all throughout history. From the African slave trade to the exploitation of men and women in the sex trade. These issues were very controversial and some remains of these establishments can still be seen in today’s society. 

There are still people living in slave-like environments, especially in the extremely brutal labor forces in many third world countries. By simply looking to the prison system in the U.S., people can see an example of all the disenfranchised population being forced to work doing labor for pennies on the hour. Human trafficking problem are neither first or third world problems, but rather whole world problems and these issues are far from resolved.

It is with conversations like these that colleges and societies continue to strive and come together as one human family to fight against hate. 

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