Why We Can Not Ignore Africans Being Enslaved In Libya


By Mwabi Kaira

We prayed for Paris when there was a terror attack; profile pictures were quickly changed to show support. We prayed for Houston after Hurricane Harvey and rallied together by sending money and supplies to Texas. We prayed for Puerto Rico and raised our voices when aid wasn’t rushed to them after Hurricane Maria left the island without power and resources. In October CNN reported that men were being auctioned for as little as $400 and being sold into slavery. The auctioneer per CNN offered up the man being auctioned as one of a group of “big strong boys for farm work.” In 2017!



I’ll be honest my first reaction was to turn away and not click on posts regarding it when they started to show up in my newsfeed. I could not let one more thing against black people make me more upset this year. We have had such a hard year already. I just couldn’t imagine how grown black people could be auctioned off in this day and age. We saw the auction scene in Jordan Peele’s movie Get Out and thought it could never happen. Well it is happening and the images will make your stomach churn and your heart hurt.

Thousands of migrants from all over Africa are fleeing economic hardships and conflict and ending up in Libya, a country in Northern Africa at the Mediterranean coast with hopes of being able to flee by sea to Europe with dreams for a better life. What is happening is that too many people are showing up and there has been a crackdown on the Libyan coastguard resulting in fewer boats leaving and many people being left in Libya. They can’t go back home because they have sold all their belongings or are fleeing and can’t go back. This is where smugglers come in, they are the new slave masters and come from Europe to buy these men to take back to their countries as slaves to work as laborers.

Bouquet Ismael Escaped After Being Sold Multiple Times In Libya

Because of CNN’s reporting and videos, the world is aware of this atrocious human rights violation. United Nations (UN) Secretary General Antonio Guterres has urged the international community to come together and unite in ending the atrocities taking place in Libya. In a statement, Guterres said “Slavery has no place in this world. These actions are the most outrageous to ever happen.”

As for us, we cannot feel hopeless and stay mute. We must raise our voices and lend support like we do for all other causes. We must stay informed and keep up to date with what is going on in Libya. All the information we need is at our fingertips, all we have to do is research it. Most importantly we must raise awareness with our friends and family through our social media and in face to face conversations. We cannot allow this to happen on our watch.


What can we do about this atrocity? 

Mwabi Kaira is an African girl navigating her way in an American world. She is of Zambian and Malawian heritage and moved to the USA in 1993. Writing has been her passion since she could put a sentence together on the page. Mothering her sons is her pride and joy. She has been an avid runner since 2013 and has run 10 half marathons and a full marathon. Keep up with her athttp://africanbeautifulme.blogspot.com/

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