ALVIN S. SIMPLETON CAN’T BELIEVE IT

“You know,” I addressed the group, consisting of the usual three occupants and the Professor who was sitting in the barber chair getting his hair cut. “Slavery is striving in Africa, and it ain’t the white man who is doing.”

Alvin paused in cutting the Professor’s hair. “There you go again bout Africa. Boy, slavery is over, and what you care bout what’s happenin in Africa anyhow?”

Jabo added his ten cents: “Yeah, Louis, you got people like Obama livin in Africa?”

“No, I don’t have people living in Africa, but it is the mother country or rather, the mother continent of all of us, you know, black, white, brown, red, yellow. Anyway, we ought to care about getting rid of slavery wherever it found. Remember, we were once slaves.”

“Yeah,” said Leroy, “from Africa.”

“Well,” said Alvin, “I don’t believe there’s slavery in Africa, especially if no white folks ain’t involved. No, sir, I do not believe it.”

“Look, you jive turkeys,” I tried to explain, “I read in a magazine I get each month called NewAfrican about a woman who had been held as a slave filing a case against Niger for not protecting her from slavery. She won. It seems that the man who held her claimed he was her husband, and the Niger court upheld his claim, even after he had given her a paper showing he had liberated her. But she took her case to the regional court called the Economic Community of West African States, a court 16 countries in West Africa organized to settle disputes.”

The professor woke from his nap in the barber’s chair. “Louis is right about slavery in Africa. Several countries continue to hold persons who don’t belong to their ethnic group as slaves. Slavery in Africa is an old institution. You know, Africans held slaves before the Europeans came.”

“Alright, Professor, I guess I believe you cause you an educated man,” was Alvin’s last word on the subject.

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