Francis Bok is a refugee from Sudan and a survivor of child slavery. At the age of seven, he was captured and enslaved during an Arab militia raid on the village of Nymlal in Southern Sudan. Bok saw adults and children brutalized and killed all around him. He was strapped to a donkey and taken north to Kirio.
For ten years, he lived as the family slave to Giema Abdullah, forced to sleep with cattle, endure daily beatings, and eat rotten food. Called "abeed" (black slave), Bok was given an Arabic name Dut Giema Abdullah and forced to perform Islamic prayers.
In 2000, Mr. Bok spoke out for the first time at a Capitol Hill ceremony with senators and congressmen, sharing his message: "We cannot rest until my people are free." Soon after, at the Boston Freedom Award ceremony, Bok spoke alongside Coretta Scott King, widow the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
On September 28, 2000, Bok became the first escaped slave to testify before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in hearings that were broadcast live on C-SPAN.
Bok has spoken to tens of thousands at colleges, faith communities and grassroots organizations across the country, including heading a panel on slavery at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government ARCO Forum. He has been featured on the front page of The Wall Street Journal, in The New York Times and Essence magazine and by dozens of other newspapers, radio, and television shows, including National Public Radio and Black Entertainment Television.
Bok launched the website iAbolish.com while appearing on stage before an audience of 40,000 with the band Jane's Addiction. He has been honored by the Boston Celtics as a "Hero Among Us" for community service, and in December 2001 he carried the Winter Olympic Torch on its national relay tour.
His autobiography, Escape From Slavery received outstanding reviews from Publisher's Weekly, The Boston Globe and the San Francisco Chronicle.