Black and Missing

I just read an article in EBONY by Francie Latour titled Without a Trace.

Without a Trace is a story hard to swallow. It’s a disgrace. It’s horrendous. It should have been the Alert of EBONY’s issue. It’s a writing that makes you aware of what’s really happening in your America. It’s about Black people who go missing every year and the media’s response to the issue.

It was hard to read the article because I am Black. My Family is Black. Some of my close friends are Black.  Anyone of us could go missing. Anyone can turn up missing at any time. This is worse than a love one dying unexpectedly. At least when someone dies, you know where they are. But when someone is missing that is continuously worry and unrest.

The story really hit home when I read how many Blacks went missing last year. “According to FBI statistics, 273,985 people of color were reported missing in the United States in 2010”. Imagine the families and love ones of these people.

Who is responsible for this? Black people don’t really make up much of the population and it seems if a huge percentage is not in jail then they are missing.

This article made me question myself. What does it really mean to be Black? Should one be proud of their blackness or walk with their head hung low? Or walk in fear? It seems the America we have constructed have only became the place we have learned to live in fear.

I applaud people like Derrica Wilson, a Washington, D.C. police officer, who founded the Black and Missing Foundation with her sister-in-law, Natalie Wilson. One of the main foundations that families seek when their loved one goes missing.  It doesn’t sound like an easy job or a job most would want.  But they seem to be getting their job done. As the article stated: “In three short years, and operating on a shoestring budget that comes straight from their own pockets, the two full-time working mothers have helped to find or recover the bodies of victims for 23 families”.

In closing, I pray for the families who have to deal with this type of suffering and pray for the covering of God on the rest of us who I hope will never understand what it means to have a close one missing and never found.

(The image is from the show I photographed at Lehman College: For Color Girls who have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf )

Leave a Reply