feature: “as of today, more than 64,000 black women remain missing across the united states.”

February 19, 2015

Mic.com have published an insightful piece on the alarming number of missing black women in the United States, and the lack of importance placed on their lives when it comes to police aid and media coverage. Read the full write up here; and check out some excerpts below.

By Alexander Aplerku, AFROPUNK Contributor


Despite representing 12.85% of the population, black Americans accounted for nearly 226,000 – or 34% – of all missing persons reported in 2012. According to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center, the comparison with other racial groups is unfavorable: Whites and Hispanics are a combined 80.1% of the population, but account for 60% of missing persons. This is especially troubling when you break down the numbers by age. Black and Missing reports that 37% of missing minors and 28.2% of missing adults in 2013 were black. No fewer than 270,000 minorities have gone missing since 2010, 135,000 of whom were black and 64,000 were black women, according to the Atlanta Black Star.

The reasons for these disappearances vary, and cannot all be attributed to foul play. But a telling pattern emerges in how they’re documented by the media, with critics citing a stark racial divide in news coverage of such incidents.

Essence points to a 2010 report titled “Missing Children in National News Coverage,” which found that while black children accounted for 33.2% of missing children that year, the media exposure rate was an unimpressive 19.5%. While black men go missing at statistically higher rates, coverage of black female disappearances is particularly telling in light of the attention similar stories get when white women are involved.

“For black adults, police usually link their disappearances to criminal activity, so they aren’t valued as much. Training needs to be enhanced so police forces know how to handle these cases.” – Derrica Wilson of Black Missing Foundation