Ayinde Russell

Artist. Educator. Consultant.

9/19/13. Human Trafficking.

I was asked to read tonight at Denver Univ. for an event co-sponsored by AKA sorority and Shades of Brown Alliance dedicated to raising awareness about human trafficking, domestically and internationally. 

When first approached to participate I knew I would need to write for the event.  I've never written anything about human trafficking.  To be honest, I am a hair's breadth away from not making this post because this is so hard.  What I mean is this: I feel very closely the danger of exploiting survivors operating under commission; though my involvement in the event was entirely voluntary.   

What I hope, is that what I've written makes a survivor feel seen, and heard.  What I hope, is that someone enduring feels known, grips hope in spite of how reckless it might seem, and dares on any chance to escape.  I'm posting the poem here, and I hope, whether enduring or having survived, a PERSON who knows trafficking firsthand will know I hold your candle high.  I don't presume to impose an incandescent platitude on who you are; but i reckon with you as hero, as miraculous.

The piece is listed separately in the pt.2 post. 

I have to add separately that a portion of this piece existed before in another poem.  One written to a friend who I've watched survive, and dare to hold light close.  to me, a hero. 




To contact Ayinde via email: Ayindetecca@gmail.com

Twitter: @ayindetecca

Facebook: facebook.com/ayinderussell