VIDEO: OPE’S STORY – “I was trafficked into UK prostitution”

I was clicking through channels earlier today and this story just happened to be airing on BBC America. It really spoke to me, so I wanted to share it with others.

The animated short tells the story of Ope, a woman who was trafficked into prostitution from Nigeria all the way to the UK. Here is a snippet of what she went through:

It is a fate experienced by Ope, 24, who in 2005 met a man offering to help her leave her life in Nigeria and find employment abroad. Her role, he said, would be as a nanny, or in a factory. She did not realize she would be forced into prostitution.
Following a treacherous four-day trip by boat, with little food or water, she arrived in Madrid, Spain, where she was put to work on the streets. But after becoming the victim of rape, she was transferred to the UK by her traffickers. “It was like I was a slave,” she says, on the work forced upon her.

According to UK statistics, nearly 800 women and girls working in the sex trade were identified as the victims of human trafficking in 2014. For more information please visit BBC.COM.



This week the USPS issued a new commemorative Forever stamp featuring the late literary icon Maya Angelou. Like many others, I was excited to hear that one of my inspirations was getting a stamp. However, that excitement is now met with a “side-eye” because they decided to use a quote from someone else.

The quote, “A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song” was actually said by children’s book author, Joan Walsh Anglund and Maya was fond of it. However, she did not pen it.

Someone at the United States Postal Service didn’t do proper research and they should be embarrassed. They have since issued a statement on the error but I guess it’s too late to fix it.

Since they royally screwed up this honor, I wanted to list my top 10 quotes from Maya Angelou, many of which they could have used.

1. “You can never be great at anything unless you love it.”

2. “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

3. “Try to be a rainbow, in someone’s cloud.”

4. “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.”

5. “Everybody born comes from the Creator trailing wisps of glory.”

6. “I take nothing for granted, including the heavy privilege of being a black woman.”

7. “When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time.”

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Despite the amazing growth of black actresses getting major or lead roles in Prime time television, we still have a big problem that I would like to address. This problem or dilemma I should say, stems from the lack of hair diversity when it comes to these roles.

You ever notice that whenever you see a black actress in character WITHOUT their weave, makeup or beauty enhancements, the writers and execs always make sure that they look a HOT mess? These subliminal messages send sad and negative signals when it comes to beauty standards.

We’ve all see that scene. Black actress takes off her wig, make-up, etc and shows her natural self. Usually this scene is because of a depressed state or even a mental break. She then overcomes said issue and is back to herself once the weave or wig is back on. Give me an effing break!!!

I usually keep my mouth shut when it comes to these types of things, but the nail in the coffin was when I was watching the season finale of The Haves and the Have Nots on OWN earlier this week and they did it again.

On the show, actress Angela Robinson plays the wealthy Veronica Harrington and through a series of family issues, she has a mental break. She is shown without her weave, depressed, drinking, smoking and even attempting to commit a murder. My issue is that in between this scene, she has to leave the house. So she then throws on her wig, does her business and returns to her craziness. This character has always been a strong character and not once have we seen her rocking her natural hair while being “strong”.. It’s only when she is weak and “crazy” that they showcase her natural self. HMMMMM… Continue Reading