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Monday, February 12, 2007

The other Jackie Robinson story

From an article on child prostitution in the Arizona Republic:
Jacqueline Robinson, 17, was 13 when she left home with some clothes her mom had just bought her and 50 cents to get on the bus. She had barely stepped off the bus when a prostitute told her she could make some money.

Robinson, who agreed to have her name published, said she was embarrassed the first time she went on the streets. She didn't have the right clothes, and she wasn't really sure what to do. She made only about $50 a night until she learned watching other girls.

After a while, she said, "it was a career. I felt like I couldn't wait to get out there. It was a rush for me having that much money in my hand. It was all about having fun. Getting money was fun for me."

At 13, she was pregnant. But she was working without a pimp, and one night, she was beaten for that. She miscarried the baby girl in an alley, severing the umbilical cord with a rock.

When she was 14, she had a boy. He was adopted by her aunt. She quit prostituting shortly after. She was almost 15.

"Do I want to start my life over again and do it the right way?" she said. "I do want that."

She thinks she will work legally as a stripper when she turns 18 to put herself through college. She wants to be a pro golfer and a fashion designer.
The new American dream, I guess. The article says that "about 300,000 children annually are sexually exploited for money in the United States."