Nationwide — Over the years, a disturbingly disproportionate number of Black women and girls across the United States have gone missing. What’s even more alarming is that the media coverage and legislation that missing Black girls are getting seems to be lacking compared to missing white girls.
A 2010 study about the media coverage of missing children in the United States discovered that only 20 percent of reported stories focused on missing Black children despite it corresponding to 33 percent of the overall missing children cases. Conclusively, the report said that missing Black youth — especially Black girls — are underreported in the news and it seems that many people don’t even care.
According to reports, when Black girls go missing, it’s often unclear whether they have run away from home, were inflicted violence, abducted, sent into the sex industry, among others. Basically, their safety and assurance to be brought back home was commonly ignored and not an utmost concern.
As of 2014, about 64,000 Black women and girls were missing across the U.S. However, most of those do not receive enough media attention and public support to be found.
In efforts to address the problem of missing Black children nationwide, Reps. Bonnie Watson Coleman, Robin Kelly, and Yvette D. Clarke initiated the Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls in 2016. Through the caucus, they hope to create public policies that “eliminate significant barriers and disparities experienced by black women.”
Members of the caucus believe that more federal assistance and collaboration is needed to further eliminate the problem.
“I feel like knocking on every attic, every garage to see where those girls are,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said. “Let’s be an example to the world that we can’t rest until these girls are found.”
Meanwhile, the Black community and organizations utilize social media networks to bring back missing Black girls. Using the hashtag #BlackGirlsMissing, many young women have returned home safely despite the usually limited support from police and minimal reporting from media.
Black and Missing But Not Forgotten is a great non-profit organization focused on spotlighting and finding missing African Americans.