Inspiring Fireside Chat Kicks Off Banned Books Week
Celebrating Banned Books Week in September, the Redwood
City Library Foundation (RCLF) kicked off scheduled activities
with a fireside chat with author Jabali Smith in the Redwood City
Downtown Library. Mr. Smith is the author of Slave: A Human
Trafficking Survivor Finds Life, an autobiographical account of
his time as a child slave and his life-long journey of recovery.
The event included an author’s reception and chat moderated
by Rosanne Foust, followed by a book signing.
When Mr. Smith was a 6-year-old in Berkeley, California, he and
his brother and sister were trafficked over the Mexican border
and held captive by a messianic doomsday sex cult. Mr. Smith
finally escaped and returned to Berkeley, where he became a
drug dealer. However, he eventually earned a “self-made PhD
in survival” and chose to turn his life around. “Slave” recounts
his experience as a child slave, his eventual escape, and how he
rose above this tragedy to become founder of The Well Child
Foundation, serving children and their need for empowerment.
He now wants to raise awareness about child abuse and
trafficking, which occurs everywhere, and encourages everyone
to stand up against it.
When asked to summarize his message, he said “Give a little of
yourself to the unfortunate. Loving yourself enables you to show
compassion for others.”