The heartbreaking story of John Christopher Smith starts years ago, back in 1990 when he was only 12 years old. Smith, a now 43-year-old Black man with intellectual disabilities, was employed by J&J Cafeteria, happily washing dishes and busing tables under good management until now 56-year-old Bobby Paul Edwards, a White restaurant manager, took over in September 2009. And when Edwards took over, Smith would not see his wages, would soon be living in horrifying conditions and would work as a slave for the next five years of his life.
Restaurant Manager Kept Black Man As Slave
Edwards had made the alarming changes when he took over the restaurant, located in Conway, South Carolina. He had moved Chris Smith was moved into a roach-infested apartment that he owned, which Smith’s attorneys described as “sub-human, “deplorable,” and “harmful to human health,” according to the Seattle Times. According to court documents, Edwards forced Smith to work over 100 hours a week with no days off and no pay, taking advantage of Smith’s disabilities for years. But the abuse didn’t stop at enslaving.