Why Charles Wade of Black Lives Matter’s pimping charge is heartbreaking

Charles Wade collage
Photo Credit: Charles Wade mugshot and Backpage.com

Charles Curtis Wade has gained notoriety, not so much because he’s worked for the sister of the baddest babe in hip-hop and RnB (and #Lemonade poster girl), as Solange Knowles’ stylist and was voted number 40 on the Root’s 100 for 2015 list. But more so because he’s one of the founding fathers of the highly-targeted and often-touted Black Lives Matter movement. This leader of the new movement has gotten his leash tangled up in some -ish involving a teenaged girl. Brother, brother.

When this writer saw those provocative and pornographic pics on backpage.com, a popular online destination for pimps, prostitutes and johns, my heart raced. It’s undeniable this Caucasian teen was selling more than Girl Scout cookies.

I ABHOR child sex trafficking, exploitation and pimping. Her pimp deserves to be buried alive underneath the jail, without fail.

On Wednesday, May 18, the 33-year old activist took to social media, Twitter, to share his side of the story.

Wade says he was approached to help the “20-year-old” who “kicked” a drug habit and needed shelter and was awaiting a package from her grandmother. He says that he placed her in a hotel using reward points. Sound legit.

While he was at a store, Wade says that the girl was arrested and accused of prostitution. He was subsequently “arrested as I was walking to a store on about a half dozen charges related to her activities and arrest.” He was bonded out of jail.

“Hindsight is 20/20 and in my desire to help her as she was displaced, I did not protect myself.”  He added, “I am confident that I will be cleared of the charges I am currently facing.”

Bottomline is the BLM movement and Operation Help or Hush, an organization he also co-founded, have taken an unnecessary punch in their community service and activism gut. There is a sensitivity in the world regarding trafficking. The minute one is accused, suspicion is raised. On the other hand, it’s foul to falsely accuse someone of trafficking just as much as it is to falsely accuse one of rape. You can’t erase the collateral damage. Perception becomes reality for many in the court of public opinion. We must not be cavalier about the facts.

Wade was arrested on April 25, 2016 in Maryland and now faces seven counts, including felonies, relating to human trafficking and prostitution.

Charles Wade’s next hearing date is scheduled in the District Court of Prince Georges County, Maryland for June 3, which will hopefully be a day of redemption and reckoning so he can dedicate 100 percent back to the business of taking social media activism to the streets for social good.

Yvette Caslin
Yvette Caslin

I'm a writer, image architect & significance marketer. Love photojournalism, creative expression & originality.

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

Join Our Newsletter

Get the latest news from Rolling Out.