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NJ braiding salon driven by slave labor?!?!

Avatar • Jul 15, 2010

Whooooaaaa! What is with all this CRAZY news coming out of the hair braiding industry?! From the Associated Press (originally spotted on Peace Images Tumblr site);

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A Togolese citizen living in New Jersey has been sentenced to more than 24 years in prison for his admitted role in the smuggling of girls and young women who were forced to work at hair braiding salons.



At sentencing Monday in federal court in Newark, 47-year-old Lassissi Afolabi also was ordered to pay more than $3.9 million in restitution to the victims.



Afolabi pleaded guilty last year to conspiring with his ex-wife and her son to commit forced labor.



His ex-wife is due to be sentenced in September. Her son has been sentenced to 55 months in prison.



Prosecutors say that between October 2002 and September 2007, at least 20 girls and young women were brought from Togo using fraudulent visas and forced to work for no pay.

Damn. This gives the term “the price of beauty” a whooooole new meaning! Black women, we have to be careful where we spend our money!!! We need to start researching the companies we buy from and the stylists we go to!

What are your reactions?

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Leslie
10 years ago

omg This is insane!

Tiffany
10 years ago

Dayum, that sucks. I hope that they pay.

Peace, Love and Chocolate
Tiffany

Shones
10 years ago

There are so many braiding salons across the country, and throughout the world, but my focus is right here in the US. You never want to hear that forced labor is happening and that you could be unknowingly supporting it… but this is my question, which hopefully can be answered by a professional: how do you KNOW that a salon (hair braiding, natural, locs, nails, whatever) is reputable? What should we be looking for when we go into a salon? Can I trust the “license” on wall? Does this vary from state to state? If anything, stories such as these… Read more »

Lydia
Lydia
10 years ago

unreal.…

trackback

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sabrina {SK}, Miss Elizabeth, Candice Jane Smith, Millicent, savvybrown and others. savvybrown said: RT @bglhonline: NJ man uses slave labor to run his African braiding salon http://bit.ly/dpDWbW #naturalhair […]

donna
donna
10 years ago

This is the craziest thing I’ve heard in a minute! @Shones the licenses are valid, if someone felt need to verify them they should be able to go to the state board of Cosmetology website in their state and enter the license # to research it’s existence. And you can get the license # from the license itself. If you have complaints about a salon or want to ensure things are on the up and up, also check with state board of cosmetology. I had an issue with a discount nail salon some years ago, during the era of one… Read more »

Patricia Kayden
Patricia Kayden
10 years ago

I wonder how we as customers would figure out that the women braiding our hair at some of these African hair salons are slaves. What a horrifying story!

Aeleise
10 years ago

@Shones Most of the time you can trust the license on the wall. There should be a license number and the name of the stylist on a cosmetology license. Each state usually has a clearing house website that you can check the authenticity of the license. A shop license is different from a cosmo license, it is given to anyone who pays the money for it so make sure that is not what you’re looking at. When finding a new stylist ask for a portfolio, refrences from current clients, and complementary consultation. In that consultation the stylist should be asking… Read more »

aba
aba
10 years ago

I am honestly not surprised by this.… living in the newark area there are african hair brading spots at every corner, everybody from grandma to lil teen girls doing hair. i’m surprised no one caught this earlier honestly…

Jasmyn
10 years ago

OMG all these breaking news stories are INSANE!!! It shows that not only are paying customers are victims, but the same could be said for the opposite! This has influenced me to be officially done with all hair braiding services, whether in a shop or by independent hair braiders. I’m going to do it myself; that solves ALL of these problems!

chillien
10 years ago

This is absolutely INSANE! It never occurred to me that something like that could happen in the United States where the laws are so strict and you are very likely to get caught. I am glad there is increased awareness and hopefully that will become a deterrent.

Leo the Yardie Chick
Leo the Yardie Chick
10 years ago

I’ll stick to my local HEART salon. *thumbs up*

cherchezlacurl
10 years ago

Not surprising, really. There are so many salons where the women work braiding hair all day (barely getting paid) and because of cultural differences (hardly speak English; perhaps come from an underprivileged background) they don’t interact as much w/ others outside their community and become “trapped” in this cycle of braiding as slave labour.

beadgyrl
beadgyrl
10 years ago

Oh wow, this is sad.…

mixed beans
mixed beans
9 years ago

this is really sad. The worst thing is that it’s usually other Africans who exploit their fellow African sisters/brothers. I do my own hair, so i don’t feel so guilty, but this makes me really sad.

wahid scissor hands
wahid scissor hands
9 years ago

I live less than 10 minutes from this salon. Infact, I work for many of their same clients in my shop. Since they shut their shop down, our customers have increased (atleast those who request braids). Everyday I drive by this place, and the customers are practically out the door. The inside looks like a darn “sweat shop”. They have absolutely no styling or Barber chairs, no ttradition salon sinks, and no wall unit. Just chairs and lamps The New Jersey Board Of Barbers & Cosmetology is the worst! They will turn the other cheek for a small wager.LOL. But… Read more »

Diva
Diva
8 years ago

This is crazy. I’ve heard of bringing girls over for prostitution rings and sewing sweat shops. But hair salons. Dayummm.
Ok, and I know it’s wrong, but I wouldn’t mind adopting an African as my own personal braider. I would take really good care of her! I promise!

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