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Opinion Pieces
|August 23, 2013

CNN | Bradley Myles: We still need to end slavery

The extraordinary new film "12 Years a Slave" immerses us in the reality of historical slavery at a deep level of complexity and nuance. The film is an opportunity to honor all who were held in chattel slavery, treated like property, and subjected to levels of violence, torture, and control that no human should ever endure.

The movie, directed by Steve McQueen, is also an opportunity to start a meaningful conversation about how prevalent slavery is today.

Most of us believe that slavery in America disappeared over a century ago. In the narrative we've learned, the Civil War, the Emancipation Proclamation, and the Thirteenth Amendment ended this horrific chapter in our nation's history. But this narrative is simply wrong.

Slavery may no longer be legal or accepted. Slavery may no longer be as brutal, as visible, or as blatant. But it's time for us to fully absorb that slavery has been with us every day since the late 1800s.