January 19, 2012
There is a groundswell of criticism growing about the number of Black women who go missing every year. According to the National Crime Information Center, White women are the ones who get the most attention when they go missing.
The FBI reports that in 2010, of the 273,985 minorities reported missing in this country, 85 percent were Black. The Black & Missing Foundation, Inc. (BAM), a non-profit organization whose mission is to bring awareness to a problem, states that most Black women disappear in New York, Georgia, North Carolina, Maryland, and Florida. Since the organization was launched in 2008, it has helped to either locate or bring closure to 71 missing persons cases. This January alone, the organization helped find six people, and all were found alive.
In the meantime, BAM, NewsOne, and TV One have teamed up to bring attention to Blacks who go missing. The partnership has produced a revolutionary series called “Find Our Missing” and is hosted by actress S. Epatha Merkerson, which airs Wednesday nights on TV One. TV One producers are hopeful that the docu-drama will not only zero in on the critical issue of missing Black women but bring new information to light for the loved ones of the victims who disappeared. Derrica Wilson, co-founder, president and CEO of BAM, explains the situation of Blacks who go missing in a press release:
BAM says that there are a number of reasons why law enforcement drag their feet when it comes to diligently working toward solving missing cases involving blacks. We all know that Black and Latinos, or any person of color, who go missing often times do not receive the much needed media coverage, which could drastically increase the odds of their safe recovery.
BAM also points out that another theory for the lag in solving Black missing persons cases is the assumption that the victims are from lower economic conditions and were involved in some sort of criminal mischief.
Whatever the reason for the blatant neglect, Craig Henry of TV One tells Yahoo News:
These are stories, and we immerse you in the lives of these missing people. These are people you get to know, you see their families, see their normal lives, and then one day you learn that they are gone. We want to get people to empathize and get people to care about these stories.
Photo credit: NewsOne