A few weeks ago, I noticed a large number of tweets about the missing women in our community. There are 64,000 missing Black women in the US, but how many times have you seen anything on the news regarding these 64,000 missing women? When I saw those tweets, it made me wonder why this number is just now going viral? Why haven’t I heard more about these 64,000 missing Black women before? When I went to do research on this matter I found that a lot of these women had been missing for years, and I heard nothing about it. I actively watch the news to stay informed about what is going on in the world, but I can only recall maybe one or two missing Black women being broadcasted on the news in my entire life. It is no secret that the media fails us every time when it comes to being advocates for missing Black women, so it leads me to the conclusion that we must be responsible for the missing women in our community. The lack of media coverage does make it difficult to know when a Black woman goes missing, so what can we do?
First let’s break down the numbers so we can get an accurate understanding on what’s really going on here. Out of the 273,985 missing minorities, Black people make up about 85% of that number. The states that have the highest missing person rate for women of color are New York, Georgia, North Carolina, Maryland, and Florida. Take this time to think about how much news circulates throughout these states, and now think about how many times you have heard about a missing Black woman or Black person in general on the news. Almost never, right? Now after researching this matter I was left with the burning question as to why so many of our women are missing, and while there were many different reasons such as domestic violence, sex trafficking, etc., the question shouldn’t be why they went missing it should be where are they and why haven't the been found?
The biggest issue on why this number is so large is the lack of representation in the media. Yes, we could spend another 10+ years begging and pleading with them to broadcast our missing OR we can just do it ourselves. We use social media to promote all types of information, but why not our missing? It’s more than just retweeting a tweet that says “64,000 missing Black women *inserts broken-heart emoji*” We have to learn their names, who are these missing women, know their faces so if we do see them one day we can possibly heal a few open wounds, we have to be an ADVOCATE for these women because no one else will. My twitter buddy @ebonyirons91 made a fantastic point that we have to be our own media. Depending on mainstream media is useless. We are all media outlets in our own right and we all have the power to promote change. Start by using your platform to bring awareness to this issue, you don’t have to be a big-time celebrity to have a platform, we all have them no matter how big or small they are. Those celebrities that you tweet every day, ask them to help you with this cause to reach an even larger audience. We can sit all day and tweet a bunch of useless facts or we can use it to help find our missing. Instead of just retweeting the number 64,000, remember it and know who those 64,000 women are. Women like Phoenix Coldon, , Shandell McLeod, Sharon Davis, and so many more. It is time to stop complaining about issues and find and implement solutions to them.
I HIGHLY recommend you follow @blackandmissing and @BAM_Fl on twitter to stay updated about the missing individuals in the Black community. You can also visit http://www.blackandmissinginc.com/cdad/ and http://blackandmissing.org/ for more information.