The 2020 Presidential Election is undoubtedly, the most important election of the century. Amid an onslought of senseless killings among unarmed African Americans by vigilante civilians and trigger-happy police and a pandemic which unveiled an enormous disparity in health care for African Americans, the country is being led by an incumbent Commander in Chief who appears “unbothered” by it all. In November, America is tasked with choosing its next leader–one who will be charged with salvaging what’s left of its Democracy. And once again, African Americans are at the forefront of each candidate’s mind, which is typical. Our role in the establishment of wealth and power in America began in August 1619, with the arrival of the first twenty slaves from Angola African, yet, we have been perpetually exempt from any of the benefits. Now, more than ever, a complete understanding of our role as stakeholders in the political process is crucial–and the Southern Strategy is a great place to start.

 

 

 

Based on a true story, Behind Closed Doors 2:Dana’s Story is a young girl’s journey in the world of sex trafficking–her mother brokers the deal.

Human trafficking is often considered an international phenomenon and women from third world countries are the first images that come to mind. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, domestic human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry in this country, second only to drug trafficking. The crime is reported over 200, 000 times each year in the U.S. and the average entry age of minors into the sex trade is 12-14 years old. Many of the victims are runaway girls who have already suffered sexual abuse as children. Abject poverty, visible obscurity and other socioeconomic disparities are often the contributing factors.

Setting–East St Louis, Illinois late 80’s–early 90’s. The city is on the verge of economic collapse. Often referred to as the heart of America’s bottom because of its location downstream from the Mississippi River, it is also one of the most impoverished small cities in the country. East St Louis was chosen as the setting for the story because of the living conditions that have been described in the city during the late 80’s and 90’s. For example, clean water and functioning sewerage systems are two things that separate first world living conditions from third world living conditions. In the 80’s and 90’s, East St Louis was hampered by dysfunctional sewerage systems and poor sanitation. Public schools were closed on several occasions due to raw sewerage found in the food prep area of the cafeterias. In light of these findings, East St Louis is the perfect setting for this crime.

The award winning short film adaptation of the novel is available here .

 

 

    

“Sometimes the strongest among us are the ones who cry behind closed doors, smile through silent pain, and fight battles that are obscured by shame.”

For Sierra, Alex and Latrice, the innocence of childhood was lost at an early age. Choosing significantly different paths, they struggle to deal with the psychological effects of abuse. The three are eventually driven apart and they transition into womanhood carrying a secret that would influence their lives and threaten to destroy their family. Through a series of unlikely circumstances, the three are reunited. The meeting would ultimately set the stage for atonement.