For many years, the rate at which black women and girls go missing has been disproportionately higher than that of their white counterparts. As Carma Henry reported for Westside Gazette, “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.” As of 2014, there are 64,000 missing black females, most of which have not been found, in part due to the lack of coverage the stories garner.
As Henry explained, a 2010 study of US media coverage found that “only 20 percent of reported stories focused on missing Black children despite it corresponding to 33 percent of the overall missing children cases.” The study concluded that missing person stories involving black children, and more specifically missing black girls, are reported on less frequently by corporate media. The media coverage a missing person case receives raises community awareness and can kickstart crowdsourcing efforts in terms of searching and funding, factors that can lead to the eventual discovery of said missing person.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has spoken out against the widespread problem of missing black women and girls in the US, hoping to call attention to the often-ignored issue.
Apart from small independent sources, many of which act on behalf of the issues faced by black citizens in modern America, this gap in coverage of missing black women and girls has gone unreported by the media. The corporate media has turned a cold shoulder to the persisting issue of missing black females.
Source: Carma Henry, “There Are 64,000 Missing Black Women and Girls in the United States and No One Seems to Care,” Westside Gazette, February 21, 2019, https://thewestsidegazette.com/there-are-64000-missing-black-women-and-girls-in-the-united-states-and-no-one-seems-to-care/.
Student Researcher: Zakeycia Briggs (Indian River State College)
Faculty Evaluator: Elliot D. Cohen (Indian River State College)