Slave Stealersby: Timothy Ballard
Two stories, more than a century apart…
In the 1800s American South, Harriet Jacobs is enslaved and tormented by a cruel master. He relentlessly attempts to force her into a sexual union, and, when rebuffed, he separates her from her children and spends a lifetime trying to coerce her and then recapture her when she escapes to freedom. Jacobs outwits her tormentor and eventually reunites with her children, works in the cause of abolition and reform, and helps newly freed slaves with education and aftercare.
In 2012, Timothy Ballard encounters a grieving father in Haiti whose three-year-old son has been kidnapped and sold into slavery, along with thousands of children who were orphaned after an earthquake devastated the country. Inspired by Harriet Jacobs, Tim pledges to track down the missing child and leaves his job at the Department of Homeland Security to establish Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.). This foundation infiltrates black markets in human trafficking, liberates victims, and provides a comprehensive aftercare process involving justice and rehabilitation for survivors.
Slave Stealers alternates these two riveting stories, weaving them together to expose the persistent evil of trafficking and sexual exploitation that has existed for centuries—and inspiring us to find a way to end it. Filled with heartbreaks and triumphs, miracles and disappointments, hair-raising escapes and daring rescues, this gripping book provides insight into this terrible evil and the good that can be done when caring people step up and stand in the light.
- Told in alternating chapters from perspectives spanning more than a century apart of two people who fought one of the most shockingly persistent evils of the world: slave trafficking and sexual exploitation, as told from an enslaved African American woman in 19th century America, Harriet Jacobs, and Timothy Ballard who, inspired by Harriet Jacobs, founded Operation Underground Railroad which rescues and liberates children from modern day slavery and sex trafficking.
- The parallel stories of Harriet Jacobs and Timothy Ballard are juxtaposed in a compelling narrative:
- In 1800s America Jacobs is enslaved and tormented by a cruel master who relentlessly attempts to force her into a sexual union and when rebuffed, he separates her from her children and spends a lifetime trying to coerce her and then recapture her when she escapes to freedom in the North. Jacobs outwits her tormentor and eventually reunites with her children, works in the cause of abolition and reform, helps newly-freed slaves with after-care, and writes a ground-breaking autobiography, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, the first open discussion about sexual abuse endured by enslaved women.
- In 2009, Timothy Ballard encounters a grieving father in Haiti whose three-year-old son was kidnapped and sold into slavery, along with thousands of Haitian children who were orphaned after the earthquake which devastated the country in 2010. He pledges to track down the missing child and leaves his job at the Department of Homeland Security to establish Operation Underground Railroad to infiltrate black markets in human trafficking and exploitation, liberate victims and provide for their after-care.
- An estimated 20-30 million people are enslaved worldwide with six million of those children and each year millions more are sold for sex, labor, and organ harvesting. Thousands of American children are forced into commercial sex trade in the US and thousands more are smuggled into the US for the same purpose.
- Human trafficking generates approximately 32 billion dollars of revenue per year and is the fastest growing criminal enterprise in the world.
- Section Two: “They Call Us to Action” features stories and insights about the lives of five abolitionists from different eras, all empathetic to human suffering and all dedicated to service in the cause of liberty:
- Harriet Tubman- former slave, abolitionist, conducted thirteen rescue operations into the South to liberate captives, connecting elements of the “Underground Railroad”, worked as a Union Army nurse, scout and spy, lead an armed expedition in the war and liberated 700 slaves.
- Abraham Lincoln -U.S. President whose path to abolitionism was a unique combination of personal grief, moral obligation and an evolving perception of the nation under the grueling burden of leadership.
- Harriet Jacobs-her dedication to after-care of slaves by providing food, clothing, shelter and education provided a template for Timothy Ballard’s work.
- Two victims of the modern day sex trade whose experiences provide profound life lessons in patience, suffering, a call to service, and compassion and forgiveness.
- Very few biographies have been written about Harriet Jacobs’ work and the last was published in 2007.
- Includes a Foreword by NFL head coach Mike Tomlin, who, along with his team, is actively involved in Operation Underground Railroad as a way to heal the divisiveness in pro football by focusing on solutions to societal problems and, in doing so, find a way toward more understanding and community healing.
- Includes a “Get Involved” section of resources to help organizations nationwide and worldwide who are working to save children from slavery.
- Features rare photos and primary source documents from Harriet Jacobs and documents the stories of modern-day rescues, mostly from Haiti.
- Content is suitable for YA readers.
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Publish Date: 2018
Page Count: 272
-Tony Robbins, bestselling author and speaker