Saturday morning at 8am on WCLK's The Local Take I speak with Cyntoia Brown Long, who was granted clemency for a murder she committed in self defense as a "teenage prostitute" in Tennessee in 2004.
She explained to me that in 2004 young girls with pimps were not considered victims, they were considered "fast." She speaks about seeing a television commercial that asked What Is 13? After finally paying attention to the advertisement she realized that she had been a victim of sex trafficking.
I asked her how it felt to receive a sentence of life in prison at age 16. Once incarcerated, she learned that she could take college courses at Lipscomb University, a private christian college in Nashville, TN. She would go on to graduate in May 2019 with a Bachelors of Professional Studies in Organizational Leadership. She had a 4.0 GPA. She always had hope and continually said that she wouldn't spend her whole life in prison.
Cyntoia shared a message for young girls who may have "boyfriends" asking them to do things because that's what "adults" do in "relationships?" I asked her about redemption and bitterness.
Her memoir Free Cyntoia: My Search for Redemption in the American Prison System is available.
For more information about Cyntoia Brown Long
Me Facing Life - Documentary that spurred the Free Cyntoia movement.