The Latest & Greatest from the DBC!

December 2018: Modern Slavery Related Resources-The Bitter Side of Sweet

Wanting to dig deeper into one of our selections? We research related resources -- articles, videos, and more -- to help you expand your knowledge beyond the pages of our selections.

Wanting to dig deeper into one of our selections? We research related resources -- articles, videos, and more -- to help you expand your knowledge beyond the pages of our selections.

Our December theme, Modern Slavery, is one that is near and dear to our hearts.  Our Recommendations Moderator, RuthAnn, works closely with Dressember to raise awareness and funds to fight against modern slavery and human trafficking.  If our reads this month have moved you to help make a difference, you can donate to Dessember via RuthAnn’s fundraising page or you can join her team! You can also find more books like our Dessember reads on What Should I Read Next Episode 154, where Anne Bogel interviewed RuthAnn!  If you’re reading along, don’t forget to use #DessemberReading on all of your posts related to our selections and our additional suggestions.

This week, we’re diving into the culture and topics related to Tara Sullivan’s Bitter Side of Sweet.  


Hear the bambara language in this language tutorial video!

Learn about some of the staggering statistics about human trafficking from Human Rights First.

Human trafficking happens in too many industries that we interact with every day.  Polaris Project sheds light on areas of our own communities where we can find human trafficking alive and well in this 60-second video.

“Modern-day slavery is today's largest growing illegal industry, bringing in $150 billion in revenue every year. Cameron Harris is an undergraduate at UGA who founded Breaking the Shackles, a non-profit that mobilizes others in the fight against human trafficking. His [TED] talk exposes the audience to the tragedies of modern-day slavery and provides strategies for taking action.”

What is the definition of forced labor? End Slavery Now explains that 20.9 million people around the world are victims of forced labor in various ways.  Learn more about what forced labor looks like in the United States and around the world.

Learn more about how cacao pods are harvested in this short video.  On the flip side, this 45-minute documentary, The Dark Side of Chocolate, sheds light on the “dark side” of harvesting cacao like we see in the book.  It is a companion to The Bitter Side of Sweet as it provides visuals for many of the objects, locations, and events that occur in the novel such as the cacao pods themselves and how they are harvested.

Not only are boys trafficked for cacao, but also in the fishing industry.  This moving 5 minute video told from the point of view of just a few of these boys is one that cannot be missed.  (This video is also nominated for a 2018 Webby Award.  If you feel moved, please vote at the link provided!)

So which companies contribute to slave trafficking in the chocolate industry?  Dressember uncovers some of the big names that continue to fuel modern slavery in this industry.  Want to make a difference? Dressember has compiled a list of fair trade chocolate alternatives that you can purchase that does not support modern slavery or trafficking!

Tara Sullivan has listed several ways you can continue to help fight against modern slavery, particularly in the chocolate industry.  Check out her website to learn more about further reading and actions you can take.

What is phantom limb syndrome?  Split Second Science gives a quick summary of the cause and the symptoms of this syndrome.  In 2013, scientists created a way to simulate phantom limb syndrome in non-amputees.

“Unlike journalists in the United States who have the protection of the First Amendment, journalists in other places around the world often face retribution, threats, and even death as a result of the stories they research and publish. This can happen in the United States as well, but it is more widespread in other parts of the world.  The Committee to Protect Journalists reported that 69 journalists died on the job in 2015. Of these 69 deaths, 47 were victims of murder, with at least 28 of these 47 murder victims receiving death threats before they were killed.”

What is your slavery footprint?  This Slavery Footprint Calculator offers and eye-opening look at your impact on modern slavery, and it provides resources for you to use to help make an impact for good.  If you’d like more information, PBS exposes many other ways you have probably benefited from slave labor.

How can you talk to your younger readers about modern slavery?  This website provides many ways to start those difficult conversations with younger readers of any age.