black children now go missing at higher rate than white children

November 5, 2019
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If you haven’t noticed an uptick in the visibility of Black girls and women who have gone missing, it’s not all in your head. According to the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database, of the 424,066 missing children under 18 in 2018, about 37 percent of those kids are Black. Even though Black children only make up 14 percent of all children in the United States. Additionally, it’s harder for the FBI to track how many Hispanic kids are missing, as they count them amongst white children. According to reports, this group of children accounts for 20 percent of all missing children.

And even as visibility for these missing Black children is sometimes high, there is a disturbing trend of these missing cases being overlooked by the media, despite their prevalence. According to the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, one-fifth of these cases are covered by the news. Research claims that Black families are more likely to have their loved ones labeled as runaways rather than kidnapping victims, which in turn directs media attention away from these cases.

Also, we know the media just doesn’t care about Black people and anti-Black biases prevent our stories from being covered in the ways they deserve.