Wench: Thoughts on the Novel by Dolen Perkins-Valdez

Property. She’s my property. He’s my property. I don’t understand this. How can human beings believe that they own other human beings? It’s been this way for a long time. It didn’t end with the Civil War or the Civil Rights Movement. It’s going on today. Human trafficking is happening daily. Girls run away from home. Nice big men help them out. Soon the girls become their prostitutes. Where is the dignity? Where is the respect for fellow human beings? I started reading Wench just a few days ago. It was a book I didn’t want to put down. Parts of it broke my heart. Parts of it made me want to cry. But I was fascinated. I think we often forget about our nation’s dirty history. Sure we know that slavery was wrong and we shouldn’t judge a person’s worth based on their race, but do we really think about where we’ve been and why it’s important to remember these things. The truth is so gruesome and awful that it’s easier to memorize the quick facts and move on with our lives. I can’t do that anymore. I can no longer joke about being a slave for doing the dishes every day. I can’t complain about being stuck in a rut. I have choices. No one has ever slapped me across the face and called me his slave. I’m a pretty lucky girl. I just need to remember that.

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