Man’s Inhumanity to Man: Iceberg Slim

Photo credit:  New York Times.com

Photo credit: New York Times.com

“I smelled the stink that only a street whore has after a long, busy night.”  ~Iceberg Slim, Pimp:  The Story of My Life

This morning as I searched for a positive quote for today I stumbled across a man called “Iceberg Slim.”  His birth name was Robert Beck.  Apparently he took the easy road to securing his financial future by honing the craft of manipulating others and becoming a pimp at the age of 18.  From the sounds of things he truly capitalized on using the sexual gifts God gave to women to please their husbands for his selfish purpose.

After being released from a short stint in jail Robert Beck ended his pimping career at the age of 42.  One would say, “Good ridden to bad rubbish.”  But!  No!  He didn’t crawl into a hole underneath a rock and disappear from all good society!  Instead he became an author and wrote about his exploitation experiences as a pimp.

What makes his career choices gut wrenching for me, as a woman and mother, is how the literary community sought to tell and sell his story.  I just gotta ask why publishers and movie makers, especially black movie makers, sought to make money from a story that exploited women?  And even though I know the answer, I still find the need to ask such a naïve question in a cynical way.

My heart goes out to the women he exploited.  And my prayers are for the family members that lost loved ones that didn’t make it to tell their stories.  And my soul cries for the women that were and are affected by his tell all book of “man’s inhumanity to man.”

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2 thoughts on “Man’s Inhumanity to Man: Iceberg Slim

  1. My heart echoes yours.
    If anyone is interested, there is an organization called Shared Hope International. Part of what they’re working to change is getting law enforcement to help these women, rather than treating them like the criminal. Also, shining the light on the “customers”, without which there wouldn’t be a sex-trafficking industry.

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