Into the Disappearance

As of 2014, there are 64,000 missing women with only one thing in common: their skin color. Why don’t we hear about it?

Photo Taken from thewestsidegazette.com

According to CNN, despite making up only 12.6% of the U.S. population, 37% of missing children are black. A 2015 study says that only about 7% of these missing black kids get media coverage.  

A large rise in missing girls from DC sparked this conversation. In March 2019, over 14 black girls went missing in a 24 hour period. When these numbers were finally released to the public, people began to wonder why they hadn’t heard anything about this issue.

In an interview with CNN, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director James Comey of the Washington, DC area said, “(W)hen children of color go missing, authorities often assume they are runaways rather than victims of abduction.” 

The amplified voice is not coming from mainstream news, but rather  the hashtags #blackgirlsmissing, #findoursisters, and #missingdcgirls on Twitter. Community driven efforts, such as these hashtags, are doing what worldwide coverage failed to do: finding and gaining justice for the innocent women and girls.

One example is that of Alexis Crawford, whose story was only picked up by mainstream media after her body was found and her killers confessed.  Alexis had been missing for a week before she was found hurt beyond what anyone imagined could happen. Getting coverage only when the perpetrators admitted to the horrific acts they had done.   

Alexis Crawford, center, was 21 years old when she was strangled by her roommate and her roommate’s boyfriend.

 

“The most disrespected person in America is the black woman,” says news site, The Daily Beast.  

“We have to be willing to bare witness, bare witness to the often painful reality that we would just rather not confront. The everyday violence and humiliation that many black women have had to face. Black women across color, age, gender expression, sexuality, and ability,” says Kimbelé Crenshaw, American lawyer, civil rights advocate, and full-time professor at the UCLA School of Law and Columbia Law School, in her TedTalk, “The Urgency of Intersectionality.”

According to Crenshaw, Intersectionality refers to how some individuals are at the intersection of different types of differentiation. For example, black women are at the intersection of racism and sexism, facing both forms of oppression.